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Full text of "Gems and precious stones of North America : a popular description of their occurrence, value, history, archaeology, and of the collections in which they exist, also a chapter on pearls, and on remarkable foreign gems owned in the United States, illustrated with eight colored plates and numerous minor engravings"

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Plate i. 

A, D, Cut Sapphire, El Dorado Bar, near Helena, 
Mont.; B, Dewey Diamond found in 1855, near 
Manchester, Va. ; C, Natural Crystal of Sapphire, 
El Dorado Bar, Mont ; E, Section of Sapphire 
Crystal, banded blue and yellow, Jenks Mine, 
Macon County, N. C. (American Museum of 
Natural History, New York City) ; F, Asteriated 
Sapphire, Jackson County, N. C.; G, Ruby, Jenks 
Mine, Macon County, N. C.; H, First Sapphire 
found in the United States, from Corundum Hill, 
Macon County, N. C. Restored to matrix after 
being cut. (American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, New York City) 

Plate 2. 

A, Holy Toad of the Zuni Indians, Clam-shell in- 
crusted with turquoise and shell (Hemenway Ex- 
pedition Collection) ; B, Turquoise in rock, Los 
Cerrillos, N. M.; C, Turquoise in rock, Humboldt, 



Plate 2. page 

Nev.; D, Cyanite, Seven Mile Ridge, Mitchell 
County, N. C.; E, Shell Ring inlaid with tur- 
quoise and shell (Hemenway Expedition Collec- 
tion) 60 

Plate 3. 

A, Natural Garnet Pebble found near Fort Defi- 
ance, Ariz.; B, Garnet found near Gallup, N. M.; 

C, Peridot, Fort Defiance, Ariz.; D, E, Natural 
Pebbles of Peridot called “Job’s Tears,” found 
near Gallup, N. M.; F, Spessartite Garnet, Ame- 
lia Court House, Va. (American Museum of Nat- 
ural History, New York City) ; G, H, I, J, Arrow- 
points of chalcedony, carnelian, obsidian, and jas- 
per, Columbia River, Ore.; K, Crystal of Topaz, 
Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado (American Museum 
of Natural History, New York City) ; L, Almandite 
Garnet Crystal, Fort Wrangel, Stickeen River, 
Alaska ; M, Chlorastrolite, Isle Royale, Lake Su- 
perior (Lynde Collection) ; N, Topaz, Cheyenne 
Mountain, Col. ....... 65 

Plate 4. 

A, Blue Tourmaline (indicolite), Mount Mica, Me. 
(New York State Cabinet) ; B, White Tourma- 
line (achroite), De Kalb, St. Lawrence County, 
N. Y.; C, White Tourmaline (achroite), Mount 
Mica, Paris, Me.; D, Red Tourmaline (rubellite). 
Mount Mica, Paris, Me.; E, Green Tourmaline, 
Mount Mica, Paris, Me.; F, Crystal of Tourma- 
line, Mount Mica, Paris, Me. (Hamlin Collec- 
tion); G, Section of a Crystal of Tourmaline 
from Mount Mica, Paris, Me., showing a red and 
white centre with green exterior; H, Section of 
Crystal of Tourmaline from Mount Mica, Paris, 
Me., showing dark blue and pink centre with 
white exterior 



Plate 5. 

A, Lithia Emerald, Stony Point, Alexander County, 
N. C.; B, Golden colored Beryl, Litchfield County, 
Conn.; C, Crystal of Aquamarine, Mount Antero, 
Chaffee County, Col.; D, Azurite and Malachite 
in concentric bands, Morenci, Ariz. (American 
Museum of Natural History, New York City); 
E, H, Crystals of Emerald, Stony Point, Alex- 
ander County, N, C. (Bement Collection) ; F, 
Amazonstone (microcline), Pike’s Peak, Col., one- 
fifth natural size (New York State Cabinet) ; G, 
Cut Aquamarine, Stoneham, Oxford County, Me. 
(Dexter Collection) 


Plate 6, 

A, B, Cut Amethyst, Deer Hill, Stow, Me.; C, Group 
of Amethyst Crystals, Upper Providence Town- 
ship, Delaware County, Pa. (American Museum 
of Natural History, New York City) . . .114 

Plate 7. 

A, Rutile in Quartz, cut heart-shape (Venus’ hair- 
stone, Fleche d’Amour, Sagenite), Alexander 
County, N. C.; B, Smoky Quartz (cairngorm 
stone), Alexander County, N. C. (American Mu- 
seum of Natural History, New York City) ; C, 
Rutile in Quartz, West Hartford, Vt. (Hubbard 
Collection) ,124 

Plate 8. 

A, Pearl from common clam (Venus Mercenaria), 

Long Island Sound, twice natural size ; B, “Queen 
Pearl,” natural size, found in 1857 near Paterson, 

N, J.; C, Right Valve of Mother-of-Pearl Shell 
inclosing parasitic fish (oligocottus), coast of west- 
ern Mexico ; D, Curious Pearl from Unio, from 
Cumberland River, Tenn.; E, Pearl showing con- 
centric rings, magnified four diameters, from Little 
Miami River, Ohio 212 



Great Crystals of Sapphire, weight 312 and 113-4 
pounds, in the Shepard Collection, Amherst College 

Turquoise Mine, Los Cerrillos, N. M, 

Turquoise Charms, Beads, and Ornaments made by Navajo 
Indians . ...... 

Human Skull incrusted with Turquoise and with eyes of 
iron pyrites, from the Christy Collection, British 
Museum ; White Marble Prairie Dog, with eyes of 
turquoise, used by medicine-men to induce rain 

Crystal of Topaz from Stoneham, Me.; Mammoth Beryl, 
weight two tons, from Grafton, N. H, 

Crystal Almandite Garnet, weight 9 2-3 pounds, found 
in 35th Street, near Broadway, New York City, No- 
vember, 1885 ... ... 

Transparent Quartz, half natural size, from Crystal 
Mountain, Garland County, Ark. .... 

Agatized Tree, “Fallen Chief,” Chalcedony Park, and 
View in Chalcedony Park, Ariz. . 

Bridge of Agatized Tree, 55 feet in length, Chalcedony 
Park, Ariz 

Six Fresh-Water Pearls, natural size, from rivers of Ohio, 
Tennessee, and Texas ; Pearl with clay centre, 
magnified six diameters. ..... 

Shell of Pearl Oyster with Adhering Pearl, from Bay 
of Guaymas, Lower California .... 







1 10 




Pearls found on Altar of Marriott Mound, Little Miami 

Valley, Ohio ... . . . 226 



Abalone Shell (Haliotis splendens) from Seal Rock, 
San Diego County, Cal. . 

Beads of Jadeite, Agate, Jasper, Serpentine, and Rock 
Crystal, Valley of Mexico 

Polished Figures of Obsidian from Mexico, half natural 
size (United States National Museum) . 

Obsidian Knife from Tepoxtlan, Mexico, length 18 
inches, Blake Collection (United States National 


Figure i. 

Pseudomorph of Turquoise after Apatite, Taylor’s 
Ranch, Fresno County, Cal. . 

Figure 2. 

Beryl (shifted crystal) Monroe, Conn. 

Figure 3. 

Chrysoberyl, Norway, Me. . 

Figure 4. 

Twinned Crystals of Chrysoberyl, Greenfield, N. Y. 
Figure 5. 

Crystal of Phenacite, Crystal Peak, Col. 

Figure 6. 

Vinaigrette made from Rock Crystal found in Ashe 
County, N. C., Paris Exposition, 1889 

Figure 7. 

Dissected Crystal of Chiastolite (made) Lancaster, 















Figure 8. page 

Section of round and pear-shaped Pearl, showing 
internal structure ... . . . .218 

Figure 9. 

Insect (walking-stick) imbedded in shell of Unio 
from Long Island 228 

Figure 10. 

Method of opening mussels in Saxony without kill- 
ing Unio ........ 232 

Figure ii. 

Instruments used in Saxony to open mussels without 
killing them . , . . . . .232 

Figure 12. 

Curiously shaped Pearl from common oyster . . 235 

Figure 13. 

Jadeite Mask, Mexico . . . , . .281 

Figure 14. 

Rock Crystal Skull, 5 inches in width, Trocadero 
Museum, Paris 285 

Figure 15. 

Crescent of Rock Crystal from Valley of Mexico, 
Trocadero Museum, Paris 286 

Figure 16. 

Obsidian Mirror from Oaxaca, Mexico, Pinard Col- 
lection, Trocaddro Museum, Paris . . . 300 

Figure 18. 

Primitive Method of drilling a hard stone with a 
reed and sand ....... 304 

Figure 19. 

Banner-stone of Ferruginous Quartz, Iredell County, 

N. C. 305 

Figure 20. 

Primitive method of chipping flint . 



Chapter I. 

Diamonds, ........ 

Chapter II. 

Corundum, Sapphire, Ruby, Oriental Topaz, Orien- 
tal Emerald, Diaspore, and Spinel, 

Chapter III. 

Turquoise, ........ 

Chapter IV. 

Topaz and Tourmaline (Rubellite, Indicolite, and 
Achroite), ........ 

Chapter V. 

Garnet Group: — Essonite, Spessartite, Almandite,' 
Pyrope, Ouvarovite, Schorlomite, 

Chapter VI. 

Beryl (Emerald Aquamarine), Chrysoberyl, Phena- 
cite, Euclase, Peridot, Zircon, .... 


Chapter VII. page 

The Quartz Group: — Rock Crystal, Transparent 
Quartz, Amethyst, Smoky Quartz, Cairngorm 
Stone, Gold Quartz, Rose Quartz, Novaculite, 
Silicified Coral, Quartzite, Quartz Inclusions, 
Thetis Hairstone, Agate, jasper, Silicified 
Wood, Opal, Hydrophane, . . . .106 

Chapter VIII. 

Spodumene (Hiddenite), Smaragdite, Diopside, 
Rhodonite, Enstatite and Bronzite, Wollastonite, 
Crocidolite, Willemite, Vesuvianite, Allanite, 
Gadolinite, Epidote, Zoisite, Axinite, Danburite, 
Iolite, Lepidolite, Scapolite, Cancrinite, Sodalite, 
Elseolite, Lapis Lazuli, ..... 


Chapter IX. 

The Feldspar Group : — Lennilite, Cassinite, 

ELeolite, Moonstone, Albite, Oligoclase, Sun- 
stone, Labradorite, Amazonstone, Perthite, Peris- 
terite, Leoparite, Obsidian, Pitchstone. Also 
Chrondrodite, Andalusite, ..... 


Chapter X. 

Chiastolite, Cyanite, Datolite, Staurolite, Isopyre, 
Pectolite, Dioptase, Prehnite, Zonochlorite, Chlor- 
astrolite, Thomsonite, Lintonite, Natrolite, 
Fluorite, . . 1 75 

Chapter XI. 

Serpentine, Bowenite, Williamsite, Microlite, Meer- 
schaum, Apatite, Beryllonite, Lazulite, Cassiterite, 
Hematite, Lodestone, Rutile, Octahedrite, Brook- 
ite, Arkansite, Titanic Iron, Titanite, Malachite, 
Chrysocolla, Azurite, Arragonite, Fossil Coral, 
Pyrite, Amber, Jet, Anthracite, Cat’s-Eye Miner- 
als, Catlinite, ....... 


t;,dH - 


Chapter XII. 

Chapter XIII. 

In the Dominion of Canada, . 
Chapter XIV. 

In Mexico and Central America, 

Chapter XV. 

Aboriginal Lapidarian Work in North America, . 303 

Chapter XVI. 

Definitions, Imports, and Production, Values, Cutting 
of Diamonds and other Stones, Watch Jewels, 
Collections of Gems, Minerals, and Jade, Uses 
of Precious and Ornamental Stones for the 
Ornamentation of Silver, and Furniture and for 
Interior Decoration, Trilobite Ornaments, . 





r’#: 1 


N EARLY all the known varieties of precious stones are 
found in the United States, but there is very little sys- 
tematic exploration for them, as the indications seldom 
justify the investment of much capital in such search. 
The daily yield from the coal and iron mines, or from the South 
African diamond mines, or a week’s yield of the granite quarries, 
would exceed in value the entire output of precious stones found 
in the United States during a year. Systematic search for gems 
and precious stones has been carried on in only two States — ■ 
Maine and North Carolina. Otherwise, the gems are found 
accidentally, in connection with other substances that are being 
mined, or in small veins which are only occasionally met with, as 
the turquoise in Mexico. They are often gathered on the 
surface, as is the case with garnet or olivine from Arizona and 
New Mexico ; or in sluicing for gold, as the sapphires from 
Montana ; or in connection with mica mining, as the beryl from 
Connecticut and North Carolina; or from the beds of streams 
and decomposing rocks, as the moss-agate from Wyoming ; or on 
the beaches, as the agate, chlorastrolite, and thomsonke from 
the shores of Lake Superior. 

Nearly all the gems found in these various ways are sent to 
the large cities in small parcels, or sold in the neighborhood to 
tourists, or sent to other places to be disposed of as having been 
found in their vicinity. Many of them are only known locally, 
some to mineralogists, while others, mentioned in the following 



' i 



pages, arc accepted by the few gem collectors of the United 
States, whose only object is to find something possessing the 
qualities of a gem or precious stone, wherewith to enrich their 
cabinets. A list of such gem stones will be of interest to many 
who have not known of their existence in this country, and to 
others this knowledge may have a commercial value, should 
some of these minerals be met with in sufficient quantities and 
of good quality ; and, in directing attention to valuable de- 
posits where a small amount has already been realized, it may 
stimulate the interest in and search for gems, and aid in develop- 
ing what may become an important industry. 

It is known that the Indians worked the turquoise mines of 
New Mexico more than two centuries ago ; that they made arrow 
and spear points of rock crystal, smoky quartz, agatized and 
opalized woods, agates, jaspers, and obsidian, and buried crystals 
of quartz with their dead ; that the richly colored fluorite of 
Hardin County, 111 ., was worked by them into ornaments. 
Some of the most beautiful of their arrow-points are now 
used for decoration by the white man, paralleling the prover- 
bial conversion of swords into plowshares. Mention will be made 
of a few localities where gem specimens have been found which 
are remarkable as such, and which have a special claim on the 
collector ; some notes will also be given concerning specimens 
that have been of value to the finder, such, for example, as the 
Pike’s Peak amazonstone, or the spinels found at Monroe, N. Y., 
which have little or no gem value. Many of these stones are 
as beautiful, in their native form, as they are after having un- 
dergone the grinding process. The cutting of such material, 
therefore, for its money value, is really vandalism and should 
be discouraged by all scientists, although we may not all be 
willing to accept more broadly Ruskin’s opinion that “gems 
should not be cut, but worn in the natural state.” 

In 1882 the writer was invited to prepare a paper on 
precious stones of the United States for the first annual report 
of the Division of Mining Statistics, and since then has 
prepared similar annual reports. From that beginning the pres- 
ent work has grown, and it contains much additional information 
obtained from studying the collections of the United States as 



well as from a personal examination of many of the localities 
where gems are found. Its object is to present, in convenient 
form, as many of the facts as possible regarding the precious 
stones peculiar to the United States, Canada, and Mexico, so that 
they may be available, not only to the mineralogist, the miner, the 
mineral and gem collector, the archaeologist and the jeweler, but 
also to the public, the conditions under which they occur, the 
methods by which the mining and search for them are con- 
ducted, the value and production of different stones, and also 
an account of the collections in these countries. 

A brief general description of each important gem will be 
found at the beginning of the article and a series of analyses 
indicating the composition of each precious stone, from the latest 
or most reliable authority, and for comparison a typical analysis 
is generally included. Full reference to the literature of the 
subject is given in the foot-notes. 

The chapter on Canadian precious stones is based on a re- 
port prepared for “ The Mining and Mineral Statistics of Canada” 
for 1887, and its use is permitted through the courtesy of the 
authorities of the Canadian Geological Survey. One chapter is 
devoted to pearls, with a full account of their mention by the 
early explorers, their occurrence in mounds, Indian graves, and 
similar remains ; another devoted to the imports and values, and 
to the cutting of gem stones, with mention of some remarkable 
gems owned in the United States, and a brief description of the 
best known collections in this country. 

A number of minerals are enumerated that are not only 
below 7 in the scale of hardness, but that are even below 
6, and apparently too soft for cut gems ; yet cups, vases, and 
other objects may be made of these stones, such as serpentine 
and catlinite, which could be successfully used where transparent 
apatite could not, because they are opaque, do not show scratches, 
and always present an even, good color. 

During recent years a number of items have appeared in the 
newspapers relative to the finding of alleged valuable gems, which 
have proved on investigation to be without foundation. As 
newspaper statements are sometimes copied into special literature, 
it may be well to refer briefly to them. 



The “Blue Ridge sapphire,” or “ Georgia marvel,” as it was 
called in the reports, was found in 1883 in a brook in the Blue 
Ridge Mountains in Georgia. It was estimated to be worth 
about $50,000 by the owner, he having been assured of its genuine- 
ness as a sapphire by two Southern jewelers, who had arrived at 
its valuation by computing its weight. Anything scratched by a 
file is sure to be pronounced glass, whether it is glass, topaz, or 
some other equally hard stone ; while, on the other hand, the 
common fallacy prevails that anything that a file cannot scratch 
is a genuine stone, even though it may be only glass. In this in- 
stance the gem proved to be a piece of rolled blue bottle-glass, 
of which fact its owner could be convinced only when he saw a 
platinum wire coated with a melted fragment. 

Another wonder was a stone weighing 9 ounces, plowed 
up near Gibsonville, Guilford County, N. C., which was pro- 
nounced a genuine emerald by some local expert, who tested 
it, and with the microscope showed that it contained various small 
diamonds. Its value was estimated up in the thousands, and 
$1,000 was reported to have been refused for it by its owner, who, 
as it was believed to be the largest known emerald, expected that 
it would bring him a fortune. Being, therefore, too valuable to 
be entrusted to an express company, he put himself to the ex- 
pense of a trip to New York, where his prize proved on examina- 
tion to be a greenish quartz crystal, filled with long hair-like crys- 
tals of green byssolite or actinolite, on which were series and 
strings of small liquid cavities that, glistening in the sun, had led 
to the included diamond theory. The best offer that he received 
for the stone was $5. 

The “Wetumpka Ruby,” from Elmore County, Ala., was 
supposed to be a ruby of six ounces weight, “after cutting away 
all the roughness.” Owing to its assumed value, it was deposited 
in the Wetumpka bank vault, and on no consideration would be 
sent to any one on approbation. A small fragment sent to New 
York City proved the stone to be only a garnet and from its 
quality, of no gem value, even if a ruby. 

Another is a crystal found near Danbury, N. C., which 
was examined and pronounced to be a genuine diamond by 
the local jewelers, and valued at $7,000. 


I I 

A number of the supposed diamond discoveries will be 
found at the end of the first chapter. 

It is not intended to make this volume either a complete 
treatise on precious stones or on the science of mineralogy, but to 
confine it more particularly to the occurrence of precious stones in 
North America, and for comparison, occasional reference is made 
to foreign sources and authorities. 

The beautiful colored plates contained in this volume are 
the work of the eminent art lithographers, Messrs. L. Prang & 
Co., of Boston, Mass., and are unquestionably the finest work of 
the kind ever published. The writer’s thanks are extended to 
Messrs. Tiffany & Co. for the facilities afforded by their corps 
of artists in the preparation of the original designs used in 
the production of these plates. 

During the preparation of this work, much valuable assist- 
ance has been received from the following gentlemen, to whom 
the author begs to tender his most sincere thanks. 

Maj, John W. Powell, William H. Holmes, Prof. Frank W. 
Clarke, Joseph S. Diller, and Dr. David T. Day, of the United 
States Geological Survey ; Lester F. Ward, Frank H. Knowlton, 
William H. Dali, George H, Merrill, Dr. Thomas Wilson and 
Dr. Robert E. C. Stearns, of the United States National Mu- 
seum ; Prof. Edward S. Dana, Dr. Samuel L. Penfield and Mr. O. 
H. Drake, of Yale University ; Dr. Augustus C. Hamlin, Bangor, 
Me. ; Dr. Robert Lilley, Dr. Marcus Benjamin, Prof. Daniel 
S. Martin, Mr. James D. Yerrington, Prof. Oliver P. Hubbard 
and Mr. C. J. Cottier, of New York City, also Dr. E. Hamy, of 
Paris, France. 



T HE diamond crystallizes in the isometric system, and is 
usually found as an octahedron or as some modifica- 
tion of that form. It is io in the scale of hardness and 
the hardest of all known substances. Its composition 
is pure carbon. It has a greater refractive and dispersive power 
on light than any other gem, and is the only one that is combus- 
tible. Its specific gravity is about 3‘525. In color its range is 
extensive, and it is found in almost all the shades of the 
spectrum, more commonly, however, white, yellow, brown ; rarely 
rose-red, red, blue, and green. 

Ninety-five per cent, of the diamonds at present obtained are 
from the Kimberley Mines, Griqua Land West, South Africa. 
The remainder come from Brazil, India, and Borneo. A few 
have been found recently in New South Wales, and they are 
known to exist in the Ural Mountains. Since the discovery of 
South African mines in 1867, and the opening a short time 
afterward of 3,143 claims that are now consolidated into a small 
number of large companies, all within a radius of a mile and a 
half, more diamonds have been found than during the two 
preceding centuries throughout the whole world. Over 9 
tons (40,000,000 carats) of diamonds, valued in the rough at 
$250,000,000, and after cutting at over $500,000,000, have been 
taken from these mines. Diamonds are sold by the carat. The 




International carat weighs 205 grams, equivalent to 3’i68 grains 
troy. The proportions according to quality of the entire South 
African yield areas follows : First quality, eight per cent., second 
quality, twenty-five per cent., third quality, twenty per cent., and 
the balance bort, which is used for slitting gems, polishing 
diamonds, more recently for saws, and ground into powder for use 
in the arts. An impression seems to prevail that a diamond 
will not break if struck with a hammer on an anvil, and several 
that were supposed to be good specimens were broken in 
this way. While the diamond is hard, it is also very brittle, 
and can be easily broken, and although every substance from 
the hardness of feldspar up, including a cleavage or cut dia- 
mond, will scratch glass, nothing but the natural edge of a 
diamond crystal will cut it. To determine whether a given 
specimen is a diamond, the best test is to try if it will scratch 
corundum. If no mark is produced, and if the specimen cannot be 
scratched by a diamond, it is safe to assume that it is a diamond. 
It is well to make the trial on a smooth or polished surface, other- 
wise the scratch will not be perceptible. 

The occurrence of diamonds in the United States is chiefly 
confined to two regions, geographically very remote and geo- 
logically quite dissimilar. The first is a belt of country ly- 
ing along the eastern base of the southern Alleghanies, from 
Virginia to Georgia, while the other extends along the west- 
ern base of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges in northern 
California and southern Oregon. In both cases the mode 
of occurrence has several marked resemblances. The dia- 
monds are found in loose material, among deposits of gravel and 
earth, and are associated with garnets, zircons, iron sands, rnona- 
zite, anatase, and particularly' with gold, in the search for which 
they have usually been discovered. This resemblance is due al- 
together to the fact that these loose deposits, in both regions, are 
merely the debris of the crystalline rocks of the adjacent moun- 
tains, and therefore present a general similarity, while the ages 
of the rocks themselves are widely different. In the case of the 
South Atlantic States, the rocks of the Blue Ridge and eastern 
Alleghanies are of ancient Archaen and Cambrian ages, while in 
the western belt, the Sierra Nevada was not elevated and meta- 


morphosed until the middle or later Mesozoic. From the general 
resemblance of conditions above referred to, the details of discov- 
ery in the two regions are remarkably similar, and in both occas- 
ional diamond crystals are found, accidentally picked up on 
the surface, or more frequently encountered in the search for gold, 
sometimes in placer-mining and sometimes in the flumes and 
sluices of hydraulic workings. They have sometimes been over- 
looked, unrecognized, or destroyed by rude and ignorant meth- 
ods of testing, and at other times have been made the basis 
of fabulous estimates and exaggerated tales, but they have not as 
yet been found in sufficient quantities to justify an attempt at 
diamond-mining, nor have the specimens obtained been of more 
than local interest and moderate value. 

With regard to the finding of diamonds in other parts of the 
country, there have been various reports, but little or no positive 
evidence. The supposed diamond field of central Kentucky has 
been the subject of much interesting study and discussion on ac- 
count of the striking resemblance of the rock to that of the diam- 
antiferous region of South Africa ; but the conditions are found, 
upon closer examination, to present important differences, and the 
diamonds are yet to be discovered. The formations in the eastern 
portions of the United States where diamonds have been found 
are entirely different from those of South Africa. They resemble 
more nearly those of the diamond fields of Brazil and of parts of 
India. The diamonds found in the United States are much 
older than those of South Africa, and if they have ever occurred 
in rock similar to that in Kimberley, there is nothing to indicate it 
now, since the rocks in American diamond-bearing localities are 
mainly granitic. It may be said that, while diamonds are found 
to some extent within the limits of the United States, there is no 
reason as yet to believe that they will ever be numbered among 
our important mineral products. Their local and scientific inter- 
est is of course very great ; and this fact will justify the some- 
what detailed account of their occurrence given in this volume as 
an important part of a work on precious stones in the United 
States. Prof. H. Carvill Lewis paid much attention to this 
subject, visiting many of the localities where diamonds had been 
found in the eastern part of the United States, and personally in- 



vestigating the history of such stones as he could trace. His con- 
clusions are to be published in a final memoir on the “ Genesis of 
the Diamond,” the completion and editing of which has been 
undertaken, since his death, by his friend and associate, Prof. 
George H. Williams, of the Johns Hopkins University. A 
moderate number of well-authenticated diamonds have been found 
in Georgia and in North Carolina, a very few are reported from 
South Carolina, and one or two are known from southern Vir- 
ginia. These are all apparently derived from the detritus of the 
crystalline metamorphic rocks that extend through these States 
as the eastern ranges of the Appalachian system. Of these, the 
great continuous Blue Ridge is, of course, the leading member ; 
eastward of it lies the so-called Atlantic or Tidewater gneiss, by 
many regarded of later age ; and another belt, perhaps distinct, 
extends from Richmond, Va., to the vicinity of Raleigh, N. C. 
It is much to be regretted that the geology of these crystalline 
belts is thus far so little known. At some points they appear to 
be well distinguished, while at others they merge into one another 
and have not been clearly defined. The names Laurentian, Hur- 
onian, Montalban, and Cambrian are variously applied to differ- 
ent portions of them by different geologists. The Blue Ridge 
proper is generally admitted to be chiefly true Laurentian ; and it 
is certain that Cambrian beds appear at some points in the area. 
The remarkable itacolumite rock, popularly associated with the 
occurrence of diamonds, is found at many points on the flanks of 
the Blue Ridge, but its geological age is not yet clearly estab- 

Beginning with the account of the one well-known Virginia 
diamond, we shall pass on southward, taking up the States in or- 
der. The Dewey diamond (see Colored Plate No. i), was found at 
Manchester, Va., in 1855, and John H. Tyler, Sr., of Richmond, 
Va., who was the first to see it, says : “ This diamond was found 
just opposite Richmond, by a laborer engaged in grading one of 
the streets. It was brought to me to ascertain its character and 
value. I pronounced it at once a valuable diamond, and recom- 
mended the finder to keep it carefully and to see me about it again. 
I did not know his name, and have not seen him since, but after- 
wards learned that he sold it.” The first record that we have of 


A D Cut sapphire, El Dorado Bar, near Helena, Montana, 

B Dewey diamond found in 1855, near Manchester, Virginia. 

C Natural crystal of sapphire, El Dorado Bar, Montana. 

E Section of a sapphire crystal, banded bine and yellow, Jenks 
Mine, Macon Co., North Carolina. [American Museum 
of Natural History, New York City.] 

F Asteriated sapphire, Jackson County, North Carolina. 

G Ruby, Jenks Mine, Macon County, North Carolina. 

H First sapphire found at Corundum Hill, Macon County, 
North Carolina. Restored to matrix after being cut. 
[American Museum of Natural History, New York 

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it is from the “ New York Evening Post” of April 2 8, 1855, 
where it says : “ We were shown yesterday, on board the steam- 
ship ‘ Jamestown,’ what is said to be the largest diamond ever 
discovered in North America. It was found several months ago 
by a laboring man at Manchester, Va., in some earth which he 
was digging up. It was put into a furnace for melting iron, at 
Richmond, where It remained at red heat for two hours and 
twenty minutes. It was then taken out and found to be uninjured 
and brighter than ever. It was valued in Richmond at $4,000.” 
This stone next passed into the possession of Samuel W. Dewey, 
of Jackson, now of Philadelphia, and by him was named the 
Oninoor, or “ Sun of Light,” though it has more generally been 
known as the Dewey diamond. It was for a time on exhibition 
in New York, at the store of Ball, Black & Co., and was cut at an 
expense of $1,500 by Henry D. Morse, of Boston. Having 
passed out of Mr. Dewey's hands, through his failure to redeem 
it on a loan, it was then sold to J. Anglist, who received from 
John A. Morrissey a loan of $6,ooo on it, and as he failed to redeem 
it, it became part of the Morrissey estate and was known as 
the Morrissey diamond. It had a large flaw on one side (see 
Colored Plate No. 1), and was an octahedron with slightly rounded 
faces. Its original weight was 23 | carats, and after cutting it 
weighed 1 iH carats. As R is off-color and imperfect, it is to-day 
worth not more than from $300 to $400. Exact copies of it in 
glass, as well as copper electrotypes of it as it was found, and as 
cut, were deposited by Mr. Dewey in the United States Mint at 
Philadelphia, and also at the Peabody Museum in New Haven 
and in a number of cabinets. 

North Carolina, so rich and varied in mineral resources, has 
long been known to yield a certain amount of gold ; and in the 
same region have been found some diamonds, either loose in the 
soil, or taken from the washings of auriferous gravel. The por- 
tion of the State which has yielded these valuable substances 
is that known as the Piedmont region, — a belt of country lying, as 
its name indicates, at the foot of the mountains, along the eastern 
base of the Blue Ridge. The rocks here are metamorphic and 
crystalline, with some Cambrian beds a little farther west. There 
runs throughout much of this region a belt or belts of itacolumlte, 



the so-called “ flexible sandstone,” which is sometimes found in 
Brazil and in the Ural Mountains, and is generally supposed to 
be the matrix of diamond crystals. The presence of this peculiar 
rock and the occasional discovery of diamonds in adjacent dis- 
tricts have led to the idea that the itacolumite belt of North Caro- 
lina might prove to be a valuable diamantiferous region ; but as 
yet no diamonds have actually been discovered there, and but 
few have been found in the loose debris of the crystalline beds. 
Prof. Frederick A. Genth, of the University of Pennsylvania, 
describes 1 the occurrence of the two crystalline varieties of car- 
bon in that State, — the graphite in beds interstratified with mica 
schist or gneiss ; the diamond in the debris of such rocks, asso- 
ciated with gold, zircon, garnet, monazite, and other minerals, 
and after speaking of this occurrence in connection with rocks of 
identical age, as a very interesting circumstance, he say r s : “ The 

diamond has not been observed in North Carolina in any more 
recent strata, and in the itacolumite regions no diamonds have 
ever been found, as in Brazil ; from which it appears that the 
itacolumite of Brazil is either simply a quartzose mica slate of 
similar age with the North Carolina gneissoid rocks, or, if it be 
contemporary with the North Carolina itacolumite, the diamonds 
were not produced in the same but came from the older rocks, 
and were redeposited with the sands resulting from the reduction 
to powder of these and are now found imbedded in the same, 
their hardness having prevented their destruction. Seven or 
eight diamonds have thus far been found. They occur distributed 
over a wide area of surface in the counties of Burke, Rutherford, 
Lincoln, Mecklenburg, and Franklin, and I have no doubt if a 
regular search were to be made for them, they would be more 
frequently found.” To the counties named by Professor Genth, 
must now be added McDowell, and these all form, with the excep- 
tion of Franklin, a group lying together in the line of the general 
drainage of the country, southeast of the Blue Ridge. Franklin 
County is far to the northeast of the others ; and any diamonds 
occurring there must be derived from the disintegration of 
another belt of crystalline rocks, that traverses the eastern portion 
of the State, near Weldon, in Halifax County, or else have been 

i Mineral Resources of North Carolina, p. 28, Philadelphia, 1871. 


transported to a great distance by rivers. The same is doubtless 
true of the diamond found at Manchester, Chesterfield County, 

Historically the North Carolina diamonds are reported as fol- 
lows : The first specimen was picked up at the ford of Brindletown 
Creek, Burke County, in 1843, by Dr. F. M. Stephenson. It was 
an octahedral crystal, and was estimated to be worth $100. 
Another was found in the same neighborhood by Prof. George 
W. Featherstonhaugh ; but there seems to be no account of its 
characters. The third found, but the first to attract much atten- 
tion, was obtained in 1845, from the gold-washings of D. j. 
Twitty’s mine, in Rutherford County. It was owned by Gen, 
Thomas L. Clingman, of Asheville, and was described by Prof, 
Charles U. Shepard. 1 It was a curved and remarkably distorted 
octahedron, clear, almost flawless, and faintly tinged with yellow. 
The weight was about i+ carats (4T2 grains). Professor Shepard 
had announced the existence of itacolumite in the gold-bearing 
region of North Carolina, at the meeting of the American Asso- 
ciation of Geologists and Naturalists in 1845, and under the im- 
pression that the itacolumite is their matrix, had predicted the 
further discovery of diamonds in that region, as in Brazil. For 
this reason, diamonds, when found, were naturally submitted to 
him. C. Leventhorpe, of Patterson, Caldwell County, N. C,, 
reports a small and poor specimen found in a placer-mine on his 
property in Rutherford County, and states that he presented it to 
Professor Shepard, who retained it in his cabinet. The fourth 
important specimen was found in gold-washings in 1852, by 
Dr. C. L. Hunter, near Cottage Home, Lincoln County. It 
is said to have been an elongated octahedron of a delicate 
greenish tint, transparent, and about half a carat in weight. 
Another, said to be a very handsome white crystal of 1 
carat, was obtained in the summer of the same year, at 
Todd’s Branch, Mecklenburg County ; and a beautiful black 
stone “ as large as a chinquapin,” was afterwards found by some 
gold-washers in the same locality. This specimen, unfortunately, 
was crushed with a hammer, sharing the fate of several Ameri- 
can diamonds when submitted to the mistaken test w'hich con- 

1 Am. J* ScL I 1 T VoL 2 t p, 253, Sept 1S46. 



founds hardness with strength. The fragments of the black 
diamond scratched corundum with ease, thereby proving its 
genuineness. The next discovery reported is that mentioned 
by Professor Genth,- — two diamonds, one a beautiful octahedron, 
from the Portis Mine in Franklin County. These specimens, as 
before remarked, came from localities remote from all the others, 
and must have been either transported a long distance by river 
action, or else derived from the belt of gneissic rocks that extends 
from Richmond to Raleigh. McDowell County has yielded two 
specimens, one a small crystal found some years ago on the head 
waters of Muddy Creek, and a much larger one, picked up on the 
surface in 1886, at Dysortville. This is a somewhat distorted 
and twined hex-octahedron of 4.4 carats’ weight, 1 o millimeters in 
height and 7 millimeters in diameter, transparent, but with a gray- 
ish-green tinge of color, and is valued, for gem purposes alone, at 
from $100 to $150. The circumstances of its discovery are thus 
related : Willie Chrystie, the twelve-year-old son of Grayson 
Chrystie, was sent for a pail of water to a spring on the Alfred 
Bright farm, in Dysortville. While sitting at the spring, he saw 
a glistening object among the gravel, and picking it up as a 
“ pretty trick,” brought it home. It lay on a shelf almost un- 
noticed for a fortnight, and was then shown at the store of the vil- 
lage grocer. Here it became an object of general curiosity, and 
elicited various opinions, until the idea grew that it was probably 
a diamond. It was sent to Tiffany & Co., of New York, 
and its real character at once determined. A year later the 
present writer visited the spot, and fully authenticated all the 
facts of the discovery. The sediment in the bed of the spring 
was taken out and examined, and also the small hollows on the 
adjacent hillside. None of the ordinary associations of the dia- 
mond were observed, and hence it is probable that the crystal 
was washed down with decomposing rock-soil from higher 
ground, perhaps during some freshet ; or possibly it may have 
been carried to the spring by miners, and left unobserved or un- 
recognized among the “ wash-up ” of the gold-bearing sand from 
some neighboring placer. There are gold mines in McDowell 
County, worked chiefly by hydraulic sluicing, but as a rule the 
stones that remain in the sluices are carefully examined, as the 


2 I 

miners know that gems are sometimes thus found. The value of 
the Dysortville diamond as a jewel will hardly represent the in- 
terest that attaches to it as a local specimen of large size and fine 

The foregoing list includes all the authentic diamonds thus 
far discovered in North Carolina. A number of small stones, 
exhibited as diamonds, have been found at Brackettstown. 
They are similar to supposed diamonds found by J. C. Mills 
at his mine at Brindletown, but these were transparent zircon 
or smoky-colored quartz, the former of which has a lustre readily 
mistaken by an inexperienced person for that of a diamond. 
A number of pieces of rough diamond, exhibited as from the 
same section, have been decided to be of South African, not 
Carolinian, origin. It is to be hoped that the few legitimate 
discoveries actually made in this locality will not lead to decep- 
tions, which would greatly retard any natural development of 
interest. It is quite possible that diamonds may be found 
widely distributed throughout the auriferous belt of the Carolinas 
and northern Georgia ; and that, in the often rude and hurried 
methods of gold-washing employed, they may have been over- 
looked in the past, and now lie buried in the piles of sand that 
stretch for miles along the water-courses. 

It would naturally be expected that in the extension of the 
Piedmont region through the extreme northwestern part of 
South Carolina, the same possibilities of diamond discoveries 
would exist. The reports are few and uncertain. Mr. Leven- 
thorpe, already referred to, has stated, in writing to the “ New 
York Sun,” that in 1883 D. J. Twitty, of Spartanburg, had a fine 
diamond valued at some $400, that was obtained from a place in 
South Carolina. He had it cut and mounted as a stud; but it 
was unfortunately stolen from him while riding in a car in New 
York City. The loss of so interesting a specimen is much more 
than that of an ordinary diamond of the same gem value. 

On passing into Georgia the same metamorphic belt, with its 
localities for gold, itacolumite, and to some extent diamonds, ex- 
tends across the State to the Alabama line. The counties in 
which diamonds are claimed to have been found are Habersham, 
White, Banks, Lumpkin, Hall, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clay- 


ton, Bartow, Carroll, and Haralson. Dawson, Cherokee, Milton, 
and Paulding, lying in the same line, and very possibly other coun- 
ties adjacent to the metamorphic belt, should perhaps be in- 
cluded in the list. The mode of occurrence is similar to that of 
North Carolina, as previously described, a few real diamonds, and 
many supposed ones, having been found in connection with min- 
ing for gold, in the detritus of the crystalline rocks spread along 
streams and placers. From time to time glowing accounts have 
been published, in which Georgia is announced as the future dia- 
mond-field of the continent; but up to the present the specimens 
actually obtained have been few and small, and it has not been 
considered worth while to mine for them. Of these diamonds 
interesting stories are told. An Atlanta lady wears in a ring 
one of the best specimens ever found in Georgia. Another 
Georgia lady would not marry until her prospective husband gave 
her a ring with a Georgia diamond for an engagement ring. Sev- 
eral stones have been lost, and it has been found that they were 
destroyed by ignorant people who attempted to test them. The 
earliest discoveries reported were by gold-washers in Hall 
County over forty years ago and later in White County. Most 
of the specimens were found near Gainesville, in the troughs and 
sluices of the Hall County placers. Two small crystals, less than 
i carat each, are in the cabinet of Samuel R. Carter, of Paris, Me. 
They are opaque and without definite form. They were found in 
1866, in the Racoochee Valley, White County, at the Horshaw 
placer gold-mine. One was discovered by Dr. Augustus C. 
Hamlin, of Bangor, Me., and the other by H. Ashbury. An- 
other specimen from the same region Is thus described by C. 
Leventhorpe, of Patterson, Caldwell County, N. C., in a letter to 
the “ New York Sun,” in August, 1883. He says: “Numerous 
diamonds have been discovered in Georgia. After the war, dur- 
ing the prevalence of a mining fever, a company was formed, I 
believe, for exploring and diamond washings. I heard nothing 
further of this enterprise, and if dividends were declared the an- 
nouncement escaped my notice.” There is in the writer’s posses- 
sion, a rough diamond taken from a "Long Tom” in White 
County, Ga. It is of very perfect water and crystallization, 
and weighs almost a carat. The “ Long Tom” is a narrow 



plank trough set with a steep pitch. An iron grating at its lower 
end closes it so as to form an obtuse angle. The detritus from 
the gold-bearing streams is shovelled into this box, and a second 
operator stirs it with a shovel under a small stream of water. The 
coarser gravel is thrown out, and the gold, and such small gravel 
as may possess a superior gravity, do not pass off with the cur- 
rent. It was thus that this diamond was detained. In April, 
1887, Lewis M. Parker, a tenant of Daniel Light, found a dia- 
mond on his farm, situated three-quarters of a mile northeast of 
Morrow’s Station, Clayton County. The stone afterwards came 
into the possession of W. W. Scott, of Atlanta, who sent it 
to me for examination. It proved to be an octahedral crys- 
tal weighing 4 t \ carats (i2'672 grains ), \ of an inch long and 

1 of an inch wide (9 x 10 x 7 millimeters), is slightly yellow and 
has one small black inclusion. It would afford a stone from to 

2 carats in weight. Its specific gravity is 3*527. Its surface is 
curiously marked with long, shallow pittings. L. O. Stevens, of 
Atlanta, Ga., has communicated to the writer that a negro called 
on him during the past year with a 2-carat diamond, defective 
and of very poor color, which he had found in his garden a few 
miles from Atlanta. He showed no desire to sell the stone or 
loan it for examination. 

A book by Dr. M. F. Stephenson 1 records some of the exag- 
gerated accounts of Georgia diamonds that have been given in 
good faith, but upon mere hearsay evidence, and often after 
years have passed. Although diamonds have been found in Geor- 
gia, and the smaller ones mentioned are doubtless genuine, yet it 
is certain that in some instances Dr. Stephenson was unable to 
discriminate between a paste imitation and a genuine stone, and 
his enthusiasm may have overreached his judgment in other cases. 
The large specimens described were evidently quartz crystals and 
not diamonds. This is almost certain as to the one mentioned 
which was used for a marker in a game of marbles and bore con- 
siderable concussion, as a diamond could not withstand this con- 
cussion without cleaving, whereas a rolled quartz pebble would bear 
a good deal of such treatment. It is possible that quartz crystals 
without any prismatic faces, like those found in Arizona (hexag- 

1 Geology and Mineralogy of Georgia, Atlanta, 1873. 



onal dodecahedrons), may have misled the Georgia pros- 

Many notices have from time to time appeared, both in local 
newspapers and in scientific journals, of the occurrence of dia- 
monds in California. After making due allowance for errors and 
unfounded rumors, the fact of such occurrence in certain localities 
is well established ; but the number and size of the diamonds 
found have not been such as to render the search for them profit- 
able. The fact of their discovery is highly interesting, and some 
of the specimens possess both elegance and value ; but as a rule 
they are small and rare. The mode of their occurrence seems to 
be in all cases that they are imbedded in the auriferous gravels, 
and thence washed out in the search for gold. These gold-bear- 
ing gravels of California present two types of distribution : first, as 
loose material in the valleys and bars of the modern streams, and, 
second, as great accumulations of gravel occupying the valleys of 
much larger ancient streams, and now covered with masses of lava 
or compact volcanic tufa. The sides of the Sierra Nevada are 
trenched with cross-valleys running down into the great, trough- 
like valley of California, which lies between the Sierras on the 
east and the Coast Range on the west. Along this great depres- 
sion, the drainage from the mountains on both sides finds its way 
to the sea through the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, the 
former flowing: from the north and the latter from the south into 
the Bay of San Francisco, where a break in the Coast Range, at 
Golden Gate, allows a passage between the ocean and the bay. 
In the northern part of the State, where the streams from the 
Sierras run down to the Sacramento, this remarkable system of 
“buried river gravels” is found. In and before the tertiary 
period of geology these streams had worn valleys on the slopes 
of the Sierras, and made extensive deposits of gravel, by the ero- 
sion of the mountain-sides. Then came a period, or a succession 
of volcanic disturbances and outflows, which made the great 
“ lava-beds" of northern California and Oregon. In many cases 
the lavas flowed down and filled up the river-beds from side to 
side, covering the gravel deposits, and in some instances hard- 
ening and compacting them. The rivers have since then worn 
down a new series of channels between these hard lava-streams. 



and the old river gravels, with their protecting caps of volcanic 
rock, are now seen running out as spurs from the Sierras and 
forming the divides between the modern streams. The latter 
have formed their own more recent gravels, from the wear, partly 
of the old deposits and partly of the mountain sides, as at first. 
The surface-diggings and placers of the early prospecting days of 
California were, of course, in these modern gravels and bars. The 
older gravels, equally rich, are worked either by the hydraulic 
process, or when compacted into what are called “ cement-beds," 
by stamp-mills. It is in these deposits that the diamonds have 
been found, picked from the sluices and flumes. In the case of 
the cement-beds, only fragments are obtained, as the diamond- 
crystals have been crushed under the stamps. There is much 
in the mode of their occurrence that recalls, at first sight, the 
diamond mines of Brazil and South Africa. In Brazil the matrix 
is also a gravel, and is frequently cemented into a conglomerate 
(“ cascalho ”) by oxide of iron. In Africa the diamond gravels 
contain associated minerals similar to those found in some of the 
California placers, notably in those of Butte County, where zir- 
cons, garnets, and rutile are met with. But these are not impor- 
tant relations, and afford no ground for assuming either a similar 
richness of yield or an identity of geological origin. 

The first recognition of diamonds in the State goes back to 
the early gold-seeking days of 1850. In that year, Mr. Lyman, a 
clergyman from New England, was shown a crystal about the size 
of a small pea, with convex faces, and of a straw-colored tint. He 
saw it for a moment only, yet its general aspect was enough to 
identify it as a true diamond, and the interesting fact was pub- 
lished. 1 The first diamond from the Cherokee district, Butte 
County, was obtained in 1853. This has since proved one of the 
principal localities in the State. In 1854 Melville Attwood 
called attention, in a newspaper article, to the general similarity 
of the California deposits to the diamantiferous gravel and con- 
glomerate of Brazil, with which he had become familiar by a res- 
idence there of some years. He advised that search be made 
and care exercised, lest diamonds should pass unheeded in the 
go Id- washings. Since then diamonds have been reported from 

1 Am, J, Sd., !I t Vol, 8 t p. 294, Sept. 1849* 


a number of points, and at present, according to Henry G. 
Hanks, the State Mineralogist, five counties, Amador, Butte, El 
Dorado, Nevada, and Trinity, are known to have yielded them. 
Other localities and larger numbers are yet, in his judgment, to 
be discovered. The hydraulic mining is in some respects a 
wasteful and unfortunate process, as the force of the current 
sweeps away the greater part of any material that does not 
amalgamate with the mercury ; and thus many valuable sub- 
stances are probably lost, such as iridosmine, platinum, and dia- 
monds. Moreover, whatever diamonds occur in the hard 
cement are crushed into fragments by the stamps, and such frag- 
ments and particles are not infrequent in the tailings and sluices. 

The following is a brief summary of the principal diamond 
discoveries in California up to the present time, arranged by local- 
ities. At Indian Gulch, near Fiddletown, and jackass Gulch, 
near Volcano, Amador County, numerous diamonds have been 
found. In 1867, the younger Silliman of Yale College ex- 
hibited several specimens before the California Academy of Sci- 
ences : 1 one of these, a little over 1 carat in weight (3 '6 
grains) was from near Fiddletown ; and four others from the 
same region were at that time known. These stones occurred in 
a compact volcanic ash or tufa, forming a gray “ cement-gravel.” 
At Volcano the rock is similar, and some sixty or seventy dia- 
monds have been reported thus far. This is one of the places 
where the cement-rock is worked by stamping, and the tailings 
show pulverized diamonds. The crushed gravel pays well in 
gold ; and it has not been thought desirable to change the pres- 
ent method and break up the rock in other ways more costly and 
troublesome, in order to save the diamonds that it may contain. 
In August, 1887, Mr. Hanks exhibited before the San Francisco 
Microscopical Society, a beautiful stone of 1 ’57 carat weight (4*97 
grains), found at Volcano in 1882, and belonging to J. Z. Davis, 
a member of the society. It is a modified octahedron, about 
-rt> inch in diameter, transparent and nearly colorless, though 
slightly flawed. The curvature of the faces gives the crystal a 
subspherical form, but the edges of the pyramids are channels in- 
stead of planes. Closer examination shows that the channeled 

1 See Proc. Cah Acad. S cL, Vol, 3, p. 354. 



edges, the convex faces, and the solid angles are caused by an 
apparently secondary building up of the faces of a perfect 
octahedron, and for the same reason the girdle is not a perfect 
square, but has a somewhat circular form. These observations 
were well shown by enlarged drawings. The faces seem to be 
composed of thin plates overlying each other, each slightly smal- 
ler than the last. These plates are triangular, but the lines form- 
ing the triangles are curved, and the edges of the plates are 
beveled. Mr. Hanks remarked that it could be seen by the en- 
larged crystals shown under the microscope, and by drawings ex- 
hibited, that each triangular plate was composed of three smaller 
triangles and that all the lines were slightly curved. The build- 
ing up of plate upon plate caused the channeled edges and the 
somewhat globular form of this exquisite crystal. A close 
examination of the crystal revealed tetrahedral impressions, as if 
the corners of the minute cubes had been imprinted on the 
surface of the crystal while in a plastic state. These are the re- 
sult of the law of crystallography, as was shown by the faint lines 
forming a lace-work of tiny triangles on the faces when the stone 
was placed in a proper light. Mr. Hanks concluded with the 
remark that it would be an act of vandalism to cut this beau- 
tiful crystal, which is doubly a gem, and he protested against 
its being defiled by contact with the lapidary’s wheel. The 
Cherokee district, in Butte County, has been, from as early as 
1853, one of the most prolific diamond localities in the State. 
Cherokee is near the North Fork of Feather River, and the 
geological relations of the diamonds and gold are essentially 
the same as those in Amador County, a hundred miles to the 
northwest, both districts lying among the western foot-hills of 
the Sierras, as previously described. Mr. Hanks calls attention 
to included leaf-impressions in the volcanic beds, as proving them 
to be tufas and not lavas. In number, the Cherokee diamonds 
obtained are about equal to those from Volcano. One was 
shown by Professor Silliman, on the occasion already mentioned, 
in 1867 ; and others w r ere then known to be from that locality. 
William Bradreth obtained a crystal in the same year which he 
afterward had cut into a fine white stone of 1-^ carats. In 
1873, several were obtained from the ground of the Spring Val- 




ley and Cherokee Mining Company, in cleaning up the sluices. 
One of these was described as large and straw-colored, while 
others were smaller, but very pure. Various stones, white, 
yellow and pink, have from time to time been reported, and 
some have been cut and set. A fine crystal was presented to 
the State Museum by Mr. Williams, Superintendent of the Spring- 
Valley Mining Company. Two others, found at the same place 
in the summer of 1881, by Lucinda Voght, were shown by the 
present writer before the New York Academy of Sciences in 1886. 
Professor Silliman made the concentrations from the sluices of 
these Cherokee mines the subject of a minute investigation, the 
results of which were published in two papers. 1 In the first he 
describes his treatment of the material, both chemical and me- 
chanical ; and in the second he gives additional particulars, with 
results. He finds here the following association of interesting- 
minerals ; light-colored zircons, crystals of topaz, fragments of 
quartz, rutile, epidote, pyrite, and limonite, with some platinum, 
iridium, iridosmine, and gold, and a large quantity of black grains, 
which are proved by the magnet to consist about equally of chro- 
mite and titanite. At first he could find but little of the platinum 
and iridosmine, but this was due, as above stated, to the force 
of the hydraulic streams, which sweep away all small particles that 
do not amalgamate. Mr. Hanks adds that platinum minerals have 
been found rather abundantly in Butte County. At St. Clair 
Flat, near Pentz, they -were found in quantity in the early days of 
placer-mining. They arc found, also, at the Corbier Mine, near Ma- 
galia (Dogtown). In 1861, a diamond was found one and a half 
miles northwest of Yankee Hill, Butte County, in cleaning up a 
placer-mine. The stone was taken from the sluice with the gold, 
and sold to M. H. Wells, to whom I am indebted for this in- 
formation. Mr. Wells presented the gem to John Bidwell of 
Chico, who had it cut in Boston. It weighed i£ carats (475 
grains). Mr. Bidwell gave the diamond to his wife, who now wears 
it in a ring. This w-as the only diamond found in this locality. In 
all the northern counties of California, drained by the Trinity 
River, in the vicinity of Coos Bay, in Oregon, and on the banks 

3 See Mineralogical Notes on Utah, California, and Nevada, In The Eng, and Min. J., VoL 
17, p. 148, March 11, 1873, and the Am, J. Sci. III., VoL 6, p. 127, Aug., 1 S73 . 




of Smith River, Del Norte County, diamonds are very likely to 
be found in the flumes and sluices. Diamonds have been found 
at a few points in El Dorado County. In 1867, Professor Silliman, 
at the meeting of the California Academy of Sciences, before men- 
tioned, showed a crystal of i{- carats (475 grains), of good color, 
though a little defective, from Forest Hill. It was found at great 
depth, in a tunnel run into the auriferous gravel. W. P. Carpenter, 
of Placerville, gives the following account of it in a letter to Mr. 
Hanks, in 1882: “In 1871, W. A. Goodyear, Assistant State 
Geologist, while examining the deposits of auriferous gravels in 
the ancient river bed, about three miles east of Placerville, found 
several specimens of itacolumite, and expressed the opinion that 
diamonds should be found in the gravels. I assisted him in 

searching for them, and we found several in the hands of the 
miners. Mr. Goodyear bought one of them as a geological spec- 
imen. None of the parties who had them knew what they were, 
but kept them as curiosities. The gravel in the channel is cap- 
ped with lava from 50 to 450 feet in depth. Of late years the 
gravel is worked by stamp gravel mills, and I know of instances 
where fragments of broken diamonds have been found in panning 
out the batteries.” 

He goes on to give the particulars of about fifteen diamonds 
obtained at different times in the neighborhood, some yellow and 
some white. One of these was a nearly spherical crystal, over { 
of an inch in diameter, that was sold in San Francisco for $300, 
and another was sent to England to be cut. Professor Silliman 
also showed to the California Academy of Sciences a very 
clear and symmetrical crystal from French Corral, Nevada 
County. It was thrown out of the cement-rock of deep 
gold washings, as usual, and weighed if carats (5 * 1 r grains). 
The color w'as slightly yellowish ; but this was perhaps due to 
its having been exposed to a red heat, as a test of its authen- 
ticity. Prof. Josiah D. Whitney of Harvard College stated, at 
the same meeting, that diamonds had been found in some 
fifteen or twenty localities in the State, and that the largest that 
he had seen was from French Corral, and weighed 7! carats. 
Some small ones are reported from Trinity County ; and their 
mode of occurrence, similar to that of the diamonds of Cher- 



okee County and of Oregon, is described in a letter to Dr. 
Charles F. Chandler, of the Columbia College School of 
Mines. 1 Prof. Fredrich Wohler, of Gottingen, mentions having 
observed in the native platinum sands of the Trinity River, 
Oregon, transparent zircons associated with laurite, sulphide of 
ruthenium and osmium, iridosmine, chromic iron, etc., and 
microscopic rounded crystals which he supposed were diamonds. 
In a subsequent communication, dated Gottingen, August 8, 
1869, Professor Wohler continues: “On examination under the 
microscope the mineral powder which had been freed from 
platinum, gold, chromic iron (in part), silica, iron and tin, and 
from which the ruthenium, etc., had been removed by aqua 
regia, besides many grains of chromic iron and beautiful 
hyacinth crystals, colorless and transparent grains resembling 
quartz were observed ; but besides these, grains resembling 
rounded diamond crystals were detected.” He then describes 
in full his methods of testing these grains, and expresses his 
conviction that they were true diamonds. 

A few small diamonds have been found in the placer 
diggings of Idaho, of about the same quality and occurring 
under the same conditions as those in California. In neither 
region have they been made the object of special search, those 
found having been picked up by miners while washing the gravel 
for gold. Fragments of diamonds have been noticed in the 
tailings from the quartz mills, being the remains of stones 
broken under the stamp. About twenty years ago, quite an 
excitement prevailed for a time over Idaho diamonds. Local 
and mining papers, during the latter part of 1S65 and the spring 
of 1866, had many references to the reported or anticipated 
diamond-yield of that territory. Small crystals, answering to 
all the usual tests, were said to be abundant in a tract of country 
some forty miles square, between Boise City and Owyhee. 
After a few months the excitement subsided, and the ordinary 
quartz-crushing industry resumed its sway over the attention of 
the people and the press. 

In the latter part of 1883, an octahedral diamond is said to 
have been taken from a placer claim called Nelson Hill, near 

1 Chemical News, Am* Ed,, Now, 1869, and Am* J* ScL, II., Vol. 48, p, 44, Nov., 1869. 


Blackfoot, Deer Lodge County, Mont. It was panned out by 
a Chinaman, who handed it to Edward Mason, one of the 
owners of the claim. The latter did not regard it as of any 
particular value and left it lying about his cabin. Afterward, 
while on a visit to Helena, he showed the stone to a jeweler, 
who examined it and made several offers to purchase it. These 
Mr. Mason declined, suspecting that the stone was of greater 
value than he had imagined. He subsequently came to New 
York, and submitted it to a diamond-broker, who pronounced it 
a true diamond. According to a recent article in the Butte 
“ Inter-Mountain,” the stone is retained in its natural state by 
Mr. Mason. 

A few years ago reports were started of the finding of dia- 
monds in central Kentucky. Prof. Edward Orton, the State 
Geologist of Ohio, made a visit to that district, and found that 
it presented certain resemblances to the diamond-bearing region 
of South Africa. He found dykes of trap-rock (peridotite) break- 
ing through fissures in shale, and spreading to some extent over 
the adjacent country. Garnets and other associated minerals 
derived from the decomposition of the peridotite were found, 
suggesting the possibility of a diamond ydeld, from the similarity 
of the conditions to those of Africa. Similar investigations and 
results were reported by A. R. Crandall. 1 It had been previ- 
ously suggested by E. J. Dunn, E, Cohen, H. Huddleston, and 
Rupert Jones that the South African diamonds were formed in 
a sort of volcanic mud. Mr. Huddleston thought that the ac- 
tion was hydrothermal rather than igneous, the diamonds result- 
ing from the action of steam in contact with magnesian mud, 
under pressure, upon carbonaceous shales, and compared the rock 
to boiled plum-pudding. 

At a meeting of the Manchester Literary and Philosophic 
Society, held in October, 1884, Sir Henry E. Roscoe presented a 
paper on the diamond-bearing rocks of South Africa, in which he 
said that he had noticed a peculiar odor, somewhat like that of 
camphor, which was evolved on treating the soft “blue ” diamond 
earth with hot water. He powdered a quantity of this earth and 
digested it with ether ; and after filtering and evaporating, he ob- 

1 Note on the Peridotite of Elliott County, Ky,, Am, J, Sri, IIL r VoL 32, p, 121, Aug, 1886, 



tained a small quantity of strongly aromatic crystalline body, 
volatile, burning easily with a smoky flame, and melting at about 
50°C. Unfortunately the quantity obtained was too small to 
admit of a full investigation of its composition and properties. 
He suggested that perhaps the diamond was formed from hydro- 
carbon simultaneously with this aromatic body. Prof. H. Carvill 
Lewis, at the meeting of the British Association at Birmingham, 
in September, 1886, in a paper “ On the Genesis of the Dia- 
mond,” stated that from the De Beers’ Mine, in South Africa, at 
a depth of 600 feet, there had been sent him specimens of unal- 
tered rock which proved to be peridotite containing carbonaceous 
shale. He added that information received from New South 
Wales, Borneo, and Brazil led him to believe all diamonds 
to be the result of the intrusion of a peridotite through carbon- 
aceous rocks and coal seams. The similarity of the South African 
peridotite to that described by Joseph S. Diller in Kentucky 1 
led Professor Lewis to suggest interesting possibilities as to the 
occurrence of diamonds there ; and on the invitation of Prof. John 
R. Proctor, State Geologist of Kentucky, in the summer of 
1887, Mr. Diller and the writer were sent, by Major John 
W. Powell, the Director of the United States Geological Survey, 
to make an investigation. The locality is easily reached by way 
of the East Kentucky Railroad, which ends in Carter County, at 
Willard, where conveyances may be obtained of the farmers for 
the remaining ten miles. The best exposures of the peridotite 
occur along Ison’s Creek, in Elliott County. The peridotite 
alters and disintegrates readily, but because the declivity of the 
surface here is considerable, the transportation of material almost 
keeps pace with disintegration, and there is no great accumulation 
of residuary deposits upon the narrow divides and hillsides. The 
specific gravity and durability of the gems found in connection 
with peridotite are generally greater than of serpentine and other 
products of its alteration. On this account they accumulate upon 
the surface, and in favorable positions along adjacent lines of 
drainage. The plan followed was to search by sifting and care- 
fully panning the beds, receiving the drainage directly from the 
surface of the peridotite, and to enlist the services of the people 

1 Am. J. Sci. III., Vol. 32, p. 12 1, Aug., 1886. 


in the neighborhood to examine the steep slopes where gems 
that had weathered out of the peridotite might be exposed. Par- 
ticular attention was directed also to the study of the solid rock 
and residuary deposits which so closely resemble the diaman- 
tiferous material of South Africa. Till this time the actual con- 
tact of the peridotite and shale had not been observed. It is 
exposed in the bed of a branch of Ison’s Creek, within ioo 
yards of Charles Ison’s house. The intrusion of the peridotite 
has displaced and greatly fractured the shale, besides locally 
indurating it and enveloping a multitude of its fragments. The 
latter are dark-colored, like the peridotite, and are strongly 
contrasted with the light-colored dolomite nodules of secondary 
origin. Besides pyrope garnets, a few of which are suitable 
for cutting, several fairly good specimens of pyroxene were 
found here, resembling the same transparent mineral from Ari- 
zona. The South African mineral is a little more opaque, but 
of a richer green color. When suitably prepared, they will 
make worthy additions to the gem collection of the United 
States National Museum. An altered biotite also occurs, 
identical with the South African vaalite. During a careful 
search over a small area for nearly two days, no diamonds were 
found, but this by no means demonstrates that they are not 
there. The similarity between the peridotite here and that of 
the Kimberley and other diamond mines of South Africa is very 
striking ; and when this fact alone is considered, the probability of 
finding diamonds in Kentucky seems correspondingly great ; 
but when it is noted that the carbonaceous shale, and not the 
peridotite itself, is the source of the carbon from which the 
diamond is formed, and that the shale in Kentucky is much 
poorer in carbon than that of South Africa, the probability 
is proportionally diminished. Recent excavations have shown 
that large quantities of this shale surround the South Afri- 
can mines, and that they are so highly carbonaceous as to 
be combustible, smouldering during long periods of time when 
accidentally fired. In the chemical laboratory of the United 
States Geological Survey, J. Edward Whitfield found 37*52 per 
cent, of carbon in the shale from near the Kimberley Mine, 
while in the blackest shale adjoining the peridotite of Ken- 



tucky, he found only *68 per cent, of carbon. The peridotite at 
the time of its intrusion must have been forced up through a 
number of coal beds, and at a greater depth it penetrated the 
Devonian black shale, which is considerably richer in carbon 
than the shale now exposed at the surface. It is quite possible, 
if the theory of the origin of diamonds proposed by Profes- 
sor Roscoe and independently advanced by Professor Lewis 
be true, that a number of diamonds may have been formed 
in the Kentucky peridotite ; but the general paucity of carbon 
in the adjacent rock is certainly discouraging to the pros- 
pector. The best time to search for gems in that locality 
is immediately after a heavy rain, when they are most likely to 
be exposed upon the surface. It is proposed to continue the 
search economically, by furnishing to responsible persons living 
in the vicinity a number of rough diamonds mounted in rings, 
for comparison, that they may know what to look for under the 
most favorable circumstances. 

The “jewelers’ Review” for June, 1888, gave an account of 
a diamond from Russell County. It is described as a small 
octahedron, with curved faces, lustrous and nearly white, though 
with a yellow tinge, and weighing T \ of a carat. It was found in 
a gravelly field on the top of a hill some 300 feet above Cabin 
P'ork Creek. The country rock is said to be composed of 
granite dykes, slates, and some floating rocks, such as quartz, 
feldspar, magnetic iron ore, flint, garnet, etc., mingled in clayey 
hills. The rocks near Montpelier, Adair County, Ky., belong 
either to Keokuk or to the St. Louis group, probably to the 
former. From the absence of any direct geological informa- 
tion concerning the two counties, they have been referred to 
these groups by Professor Proctor. 

Various reports of the discovery of diamonds in different 
parts of the country are from time to time published by local 
papers ; but they generally prove to have been written without 
exact information as to the character of the stone, or for specu- 
lative purposes. A few of these reported diamonds will be 
referred to, of which only the following are known to be gen- 
uine. Two diamonds have been on exhibition for several 
years at the store of Frederick N. Herron, Indianapolis, and 



are reported by him to have been found at some locality in 
Indiana. They are perfect elongated hexoctahedrons of 2 
carats each. The stones are genuine diamonds, but the particu- 
lars of their occurrence and discovery have not been obtained, 
and therefore nothing definite can be stated regarding them. 
J. D. Yerrington of New York city has had a brown diamond 
weighing 1 carat, that will yield, when cut, a gem weighing i 
carat, which was found near Philadelphos, Ariz. Two pieces 
of blue bottle-glass that had been rolled so as to lose all form, 
were naturally supposed by the finder to be sapphires, being in 
the same locality with the diamond. It is stated that three 
diamond crystals were obtained many years ago on Koko Creek, 
at the headwaters of the Tellico River, in East Tennessee, on 
the “bench lands” of the Smoky or Onaka Mountains. If this 
statement be correct, it probably points to a western extension 
of the diamond-belt of North Carolina, or to the transportation 
of the stones thence by streams. 

In 1884, quite an excitement was aroused in Wisconsin by a 
reported diamond-discovery at Waukesha, in that State. A Mil- 
waukee jeweler purchased for $1 from a lady, a stone which he 
stated was a topaz. It was said to have been found at a consider- 
able depth, in digging a well on the property of the lady’s hus- 
band, at Waukesha, some years before. Subsequently it was 
thought to be a diamond, and as the first ever found in Wisconsin 
was valued at a high price and made the basis of much local ex- 
citement and speculation. The land where it was found was pur- 
chased at an increased price and two other small diamonds were 
produced as from the same locality. The gravel in which they 
were claimed to occur was simply the ordinary glacial drift of the 
whole region, and the diamonds have the aspect of being African 
stones. In 1888, it was announced that a fine and large dia- 
mond of over 80 carats had been found by a laborer while 
attending a bowlder-crushing machine in Cincinnati. The theory 
was advanced that it might be the stone lost in 1806, at Blen- 
nerhassett Island, by Mrs. Clark, and described by Aaron 
Burr in a letter to his daughter. The story lacks foundation. 
Another instance is that of a stone, supposed to be a dia- 
mond, found in working for coal a few years since at Ponca, 


Neb. Great excitement was aroused, but the stone proved not 
to be a diamond. 

The well-known “Arizona diamond swindle” was a clever 
one, and its locality could hardly have been better selected ; but 
it should not have received so much credence, since gem minerals 
are so readily recognized through their local characteristics by all 
collecting mineralogists. A few words in regard to this cele- 
brated swindle may not be amiss. Twenty years ago fabulous 
stories were circulated about the richness of New Mexico and 
Arizona. Companies with high-sounding titles were organized to 
collect not only the diamonds, but the rubies, sapphires, emeralds, 
and other gems, which were said to abound there. In 1870, a 
large scheme for this purpose was originated. It was represented 
in San Francisco that Philip Arnold and John B. Slack had found 
diamonds and other precious stones in great quantities in a cer- 
tain Territory of the United States. Among some of the ob- 
jects shown in confirmation were 80,000 carats of so-called rubies 
and a large number of diamonds, one of 108 carats weight. 
These gems were all displayed for the inspection of those inter- 
ested in the scheme, and were deposited with the Bank of Cali- 
fornia for safe-keeping. Subsequently the same parties again 
visited the fields, which were reported to lie somewhere in New 
Mexico, and returned with another lot of stones, not so large as 
the former ones, however. It was remarked at the time that one 
could scarcely expect to pick them up by the bushel. Heavy cap- 
italists on both coasts soon became deeply interested, and on May 
10, 1872, a bill was passed by Congress in the interests of the dia- 
mond-miner. Finally, a party composed of representatives of 
both the East and the West, with a mining expert, a graduate of 
the Royal School of Mines, Freiberg, Saxony, chosen by the in- 
vestors, started out prospecting, equipped for a sixty days’ expe- 
dition. They left Rawlins, Wyo., May 28th, first taking a south- 
western course, then a northwestern course, until some of the 
party thought that they had missed their way, and began to doubt 
the truth of the discovery. But when the mountain was reached, 
the promised Golconda, every one picked up gems, and hope rose 
correspondingly. In a week 1,000 carats of diamonds and 6,000 to 
7,000 carats of rubies were gathered, and the party returned, well 



pleased with their success. Another expedition, setting out late 
in the season, failed to reach the fields, and was abandoned. On 
hearing of the failure of the third party, Clarence King, Director 
of the United States Geological Survey, started on his famous 
expedition, which proved that the whole affair was a humbug and 
that the mine had been “ salted.” The “ rubies” were shown to be 
ordinary garnets, and the loS-carat diamond proved to be a piece 
of quartz. It was ascertained that an American had purchased a 
large quantity of rough diamonds in London, regardless of their 
value, and so plentiful was the salting that some years afterward 
diamond crystals were still found there. A number gathered by 
a shoemaker are still in the cabinet of Prof. Joseph Leidy, of the 
University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. So carefully was 
the swindle planned that an eastern expert was only shown a 
paper of cube diamonds, a form quite rare, and peculiar to Bra- 
zil. About $750,000, taken principally from capitalists on the 
California coast, was realized by the promoters of this gigantic 
fraud. Had the company employed a competent gem-expert or 
a gem-collecting mineralogist, no such swindle could have oc- 
curred. The expert retained by the investors was himself de- 
ceived, and this fact, of course, greatly facilitated the fraud. 

To insure the finding of diamonds in a new district, one of 
the best methods is to familiarize the searchers with their lustre. 
This can readily be accomplished, and was once partly carried out 
by Dwight Whiting, of Boston. He has suggested selling to the 
miners small, imperfect diamond crystals (bort), mounted in a 
very inexpensive manner, so that the entire ring or charm could 
be sold at from $5 to $ro. Several thousand searchers thus pre- 
pared would soon ascertain whether diamonds really existed, and 
the crystal would also serve for testing the hardness as well as 
the lustre of the stone. 

A geologist of North Carolina conceived the happy idea of 
interesting the children of his vicinity in the search for minerals. 
A trifling reward was sufficient to awaken a keen interest, so that 
healthful exercise certainly, and often valuable specimens, were 
the result of his plan. Some of the series of modified quartz 
crystals described by Prof. Gerhard von Rath, as well as the 
beautiful rutiles, emeralds, and other minerals that we are now 


familar with, we ow r e to the industry and sharp sight of these 
children* It would aid much in the development of new min- 
eral ogical fields if this plan of Mr, Stephenson s could be widely 
introduced. One of the minerals most likely to be mistaken for 
the diamond is a form of small quartz crystal found principally at 
Santa Fe and Gallup, M, M. ; Fort Defiance, Ariz. ; Deadwood, 
Dak. ; and Shell Creek, Nev. These crystals range in size from 1 
to 5 millimeters and the prism is nearly or entirely obliterated. 
In addition to this, as a rule, the surface is slightly roughened, 
and by an inexperienced person such a crystal is easily mistaken 
for an octahedron, which is almost universally considered to be 
the only diamond shape. 


Corundum, Sapphire, Ruby, Oriental Topaz, Oriental Emerald, Diaspore, and Spinel. 

C ORUNDUM is nearly pure alumina (Al a 0 3 ) t and is 
found in almost all colors of the rainbow. The trans- 
parent varieties rank among the most valuable of gems. 
The names, ruby, sapphire, oriental amethyst, oriental 
emerald, and oriental topaz are given to the transparent red, blue, 
purple, green, and yellow varieties of the mineral. These colors 
are due to the addition of minute quantities of metallic oxides 
to the alumina. Its specific gravity varies from 3*97 to 4'05, 
and its hardness is 9 ; that of the ruby is generally about 
8'8. The finest pigeon’s-blood-colored rubies are found at Man- 
dalay in Burmah, where mines have recently been leased by a 
London syndicate. Fine rubies, which are generally small, 
sometimes of a pink color, and often with a currant-wine or pur- 
plish tint, are found at Ratnapoora in Ceylon ; likewise in Siam, 
where, however, the color is most commonly a dark red, almost 
that of a garnet, often with a tinge of brown. The finest sap- 
phires are found in Burmah or Ceylon. Some of the finest corn- 
flower blue varieties are from Ceylon. Many of the rich velvety 
blue, as well as the lighter-colored stones, are from the Simla 
Pass in the Himalayas, Fine sapphires have recently been found 
in Siam and in Australia, the latter generally of an opaque, 
milky-blue color. 




Corundum is a mineral of great importance, though not of 
frequent occurrence ; in combination, however, especially with 
silica, alumina enters into a vast number of mineral species and 
varieties. Its great hardness gives it value as a polishing mate- 
rial, and as such it has no substitute. It is found in the United 
States, chiefly in the crystalline rocks along the Appalachian 
Mountains, from Chester, Mass., to northern Georgia, and also 
in Montana. At Chester, where the deposits have long been 
known and worked, the mineral consists chiefly of emery, which 
is corundum mixed with magnetite, and somewhat softer than 
corundum alone. No gems have been found here. At Pelham, 
Mass., corundum in small quantities has been recognized, and 
Prof. Charles U. Shepard 1 found asteriated crystals in nodules 
of cyanite at Litchfield, Conn., also at Norwich, Conn., where 
he found small blue crystals enclosed in fibrolite. It is likewise 
found in the metamorphic rocks of the Highlands of New York 
and northern New Jersey. At Vernon, N. J., forty years ago, 
crystals of sapphire and ruby corundum were found, but always 
opaque, so that, while many specimens were obtained from this 
locality, some of which have been cut, it is probable that none of 
them has furnished a transparent gem. 

It is of interest to know that rubies from Mandalay, 
Burmah, occur in similar association with limestone ; hence they 
are generally found detached and separated from their original 
matrix. Some handsome cabinet specimens, showing asterism, 
have been obtained from Delaware, Chester, and Lancaster 
Counties, Pa. ; few, however, were suitable for cutting. Crystals 
have been found in Virginia, in Louisa County, and near Staun- 
ton, Augusta County. 

The great corundum region is in the crystalline rocks of 
North Carolina, where in Madison, Buncombe, Haywood, Jack- 
son, Macon, and Clay Counties, numerous localities are known. 
A second and a third line of localities are recognized, but they 
are of slight importance. According to Thomas M. Chatard,* 
of the United States Geological Survey, the corundum region 
extends from the Virginia line through the western part of 

1 Report on the Geological Survey' of Connecticut, p. 64, New Haven, 1837. 

5 Mineral Resources of the United States, p. 714, 1SS3-1SS4. 

► S. r 


South Carolina, and across Georgia as far as Dudleyville, Ala. 
Its greatest width is estimated to be about one hundred miles. 
This belt is frequently referred to as the chrysolite or chromifer- 
ous series, owing to the presence of chrysolite and chromium, 
from which corundum is believed, by certain authorities, to have 
been derived by alteration. 1 In this decomposed and altered 
chrysolite, throughout the Southern States, corundum is found 
in place. Dr. J. Lawrence Smith says that “ outside of serpen- 
tine it has not been found,” while Professor Shepard says that 
it occurs “only in a single formation, which may be designated 
as chrysolite rock, though from its color and some other peculi- 
arities it has often been confounded with serpentine." Charles 
W. Jenks gives the following account of the Culsagee locality, 
which is typical of most Southern deposits. He says : “ The 
aspect of the ridge is somewhat barren, like that of all the 
corundum and emery localities with which I am acquainted in 
any part of the world. The granite rocks ’which make up the 
principal masses of the mountains have been fissured with a large 
dyke of chrysolite and serpentine, in which the corundum-carry- 
ing veins are found. These veins traverse the dyke, and are 
mainly composed of chlorite and chloritic minerals, carrying with 
them corundum in massive and crystal forms. The veins are five 
in number, dip to the northwest at an angle of 45 0 , and contain 
the mineral, in size from microscopic crystals to those of from 
1 to 500 pounds. The two varieties of chlorite known as ripido- 
lite and jefferisite form the usual vein-gangue or matrix of the 
mineral. Some gem masses were in their native matrix of 
ripidolite between hanging walls and foot walls of serpentine ; 
others, from the size of a hen’s egg to a fifty-pound shot, were 
found locked up in geodes of chlorite ; others still in pockets of 
partially changed or decaying schists of mica or talc." 2 It is 
believed by some that corundum is derived from the breaking 
up of alumina compounds, especially hydrates, like the minerals 
diaspore and bauxite. Professor Genth, in his monograph on 
corundum, refers to a locality near Friendship, in Guilford 

1 See, Corundum r Its Alterations and Associated Minerals, by Frederick A. Genth, in 
Contributions from the Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, No. r, Philadelphia, 1873. 

2 Corundum and Its Gems. A Lecture before the Society of Arts, Boston, 1S76. 



County, where corundum is found associated with titaniferous 
iron ore. In other localities, in Gaston and Rutherford Coun- 
ties, the corundum was found in a series of slates, and was 
regarded by Prof. Ebenezer Emmons, Chief of the North 
Carolina Geological Survey, as belonging to the Taconic 
system. At these places it is found associated with pyro- 
phyllite, rutile, damourite and lazulite. Professor Genth says : 
“ There are reasons to believe that the pyrophyllite beds 
in Orange, Chatham, Moore and Montgomery Counties are 
analogous to the corundiferous strata of Gaston County, 
and the same appears to be true for those at Graves’ 
Mountain, Lincoln County, Ga.” At this locality there is 
also to be found lazulite with rutile as well as at Crowder’s 
Mountain in Gaston County, N. C. The earliest reference to 
corundum in this country is found in Silliman's Journal for 
1819, 1 in an article on the mineralogy and geology of parts of 
South and North Carolina, by John Dickson, who sent a 
number of specimens to illustrate the paper. Among these was 
one nearly an inch in length and very like the East Indian 
specimens, which Prof. Benjamin Silliman, Sr., of Yale College, 
recognized as a very perfect hexagonal crystal of blue corundum. 
The locality from which it came was subsequently found to be 
near Andersonville, Laurens District, S. C., and it has lately 
yielded a large amount of corundum mingled with zircon. The 
Massachusetts emery deposits near Chester were first described 
by Dr. Charles T. Jackson 2 and later by Professor Shepard 3 and 
Dr. Smith. 1 The Connecticut localities were described by Pro- 
fessor Shepard, and that at Pelham, Mass., by J. H. Adams, a few 
years later ; meanwhile the Pennsylvania corundum, and that of 
Vernon, N. J., and Orange County, N. Y,,had been found. Dr. 
Smith writes 6 that this mineral was first discovered in North Car- 
olina in 1846, but does not specify where or by whom. Professor 
Shepard, in 1872, states 6 that he had received an hexagonal prism 

1 Am. J, Sd. I., Vol. 3, p. 4, 1819, 

5 Ain. J. Sci. II., Vol. 39, p. S8, Feb., 1865, and the Froc. Boston Soc. Nat. His. for 1864. 

3 Am. J. Sd. II., Vol. 40, p. H 2 r Aug., 1S65; Vol. 42, p. 43, Nov., 1866; Vol. 64, p, 256, 
Oct., 1868. 

4 Am, J. Sd. II., Vol. 42, p. 83, Aug., 1866. 

4 Am. J. Sd. HI., Vol 4, p. 175, Sept., 1872, 

6 Am. J. Sd. III., Vol. 6, p. 1S0, Sept., 1873, 



of ruby-red color, “ upwards of twenty years ago,” from a gentle- 
man of Macon, Ga., who said that it came from a gold mine in 
Habersham County of that State. The specimen was apparently 
a loose crystal that had been washed down to the placers east of 
the Blue Ridge. About the same time Gen. Thomas L. Cling- 
man sent him several pounds of a coarse blue sapphire broken 
from a large crystal " picked up at the base of a mountain on the 
French Broad River in Madison County, N„ C.” 

This is probably the same discovery as that in 1846 or 1847, 
for at that time Madison County was part of Buncombe County. 
Dr. C. L. Hunter discovered the Gaston County corundum, and 
Professor Emmons refers to it in his report on the midland coun- 
ties of North Carolina in 1853. 1 The civil war began soon after, 
putting a stop to further research, and it was not until its close 
that investigations were resumed. 

Rev. C. D. Smith, of Franklin, N. C., who had served as an 
assistant to Professor Emmons on the State Geological Survey, 
discovered most of the important localities in North Carolina. In 
1865 a specimen was brought to him from a point west of the 
Blue Ridge which he recognized as corundum ; he visited the lo- 
cality, found the mineral, collected specimens, and announced the 
occurrence. This was the origin of the mining industry now so 
valuable. These discoveries led to further exploration, and many 
localities were found in the same region which have since been 
more or less developed. The principal deposits that are now 
worked are the Jenks, Lucas, or Culsagee Mine; Corundum 
Hill Mine, near Franklin, Macon County, N. C. ; the Buck Creek 
or Cullakenee Mine in Clay County, also at Laurel Creek in 
Rabun County, Ga., and near Gainesville, Hall County, Ga. The 
Jenks Mine is on the Culsagee or Sugartown fork of the Ten- 
nessee River. Its two names are derived from the locality and from 
the name of its first operator, Charles W. Jenks, of Boston, Mass. 
Prof. Washington C. Kerr, State Geologist of North Carolina, 
placed the mica-bearing rocks in the upper part of the Laurentian 
series, identifying them provisionally with those called by Dr. T. 
Sterry Hunt, Montalban. Thomas M. Chatard, of the United 
States Geological Survey, has described quite fully the 

1 Am. J. Sci. II., Vol. 15, p, 373, May, 1853. 




rence of corundum 1 at the Culsagee and Laurel Creek localities, 
both of which are now operated by the Hampden Emery Com- 
pany, of Chester, Mass. The Culsagee outcrop, covering some 
thirty acres, consists of chrysolite (dunite) mingled with horn- 
blende. The corundum is enclosed among various hydromica- 
ceous minerals, commonly grouped, under the term chlorite, be- 
tween the gneiss and the dunite, from the alteration of which they 
have evidently been formed. It occurs chiefly in crystalline masses, 
often of considerable size, and sometimes suitable for gems. 
At other parts of the mine it is found in small crystals and grains 
mingled with scales of chlorite, forming what is called the “ sand 
vein.” This is so loose and incoherent that it is worked by the 
hydraulic process ; and the small size of such corundum is the 
saving of much labor in the next process of pulverizing. The 
Laurel Creek Mine is similar in character. At Buck Creek the 
chrysolite rocks cover an area of over 300 acres, and from that point 
southward the hornblende rocks assume greater proportions, be- 
ing associated with albite instead of the ordinary feldspar and form- 
ing an albitic cyanite rock. There is also found here the beautiful 
green smaragdite, called by Professor Shepard chrome arfved- 
sonite, which, with red or pink corundum, forms a beautiful and 
peculiar rock curiously resembling the eclogite or omphacite 
of Hoff, in Bavaria, Germany. At Shorting Creek in Clay 
County and in Towns County, Ga., there are also corundum 
localities. The resemblance in the occurrence of the North Car- 
olina corundums to that of Mramorsk in the Ural Mountains, as 
described by Prof. Gustav Rose of the University of Berlin, has 
been shown by Professor Genth. 3 There the associated species 
are serpentine and chlorite schist, sometimes with emery, dia- 
spore, and zoisite, very similar to the chrome serpentine corundum 
belt of the Southern States. The emery deposits of Asia 
Minor and the Grecian Archipelago, according to Dr. J. Lawrence 
Smith, 3 yield that substance in marble or limestone, overlying 
gneissic rocks ; while with it are associated many of the same 
hydromicaceous and chloride species that accompany both the 
New England emery and the Southern corundum. 

* Mineral Resources of the United States* p. 714* 1883-1884, 

1 Contributions to the Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania* No. i T 1873. 

3 Am. J, Sci. IL, Vol. I0 t p* 355* Nov,, 1S50; and Vol, 12* p. 53, Jaiu, 1851. 



With more particular reference now to the actual gems 
yielded at these various localities, we may note that they occur in 
two distinct forms : first, as crystals, of which the usual forms for 
sapphire are doubly terminated hexagonal pyramids, often bar- 
rel-shaped by the occurrence of a number of pyramidal planes of 
successively greater angle ; and second, as nodules of purer and 
clearer material, in the midst of larger masses of ordinary cleav- 
able corundum. The latter, when broken or falling out, are some- 
times taken for rolled pebbles, which they resemble. 

In 1S86, a London periodical made the statement that any 
one who found the sapphire or the ruby in its original matrix 
would be called the “ King of Rubies,” and that his fortune would 
be assured. This recalls the fact that Charles W. Jenks, of Bos- 
ton, was the original finder of the true corundum or sapphire 
gems in place in the Jenks Mine at Franklin, N. C., and that he 
obtained from this locality 7 nearly all the fine crystals of the best 
American collections. One of the most interesting of these is a 
piece of blue crystal with a white band running across it and a 
place in the center where a nodule had dropped out. This piece 
was cut and put back in its place, and the white band can be seen 
running across both gem and rock. (See Colored Plate No. i). 
Nearly all the fine gems from Franklin, N. C., were brought to 
light by Mr. Jenks’ mining; but although found here in their 
original matrix, they were of such rare occurrence that it was 
found unprofitable to mine for them alone. The work was sus- 
pended for some time in consequence of the financial crisis of 1873, 
but has lately been resumed by the Hampden Emery Company, 
as mentioned, who now own the mines, and are operating them for 
corundum under the direction of Dr. S. F. Lucas, whose name 
has been given to the mine at Culsagee, formerly called after Mr. 
Jenks. What success in gem-discovery is at present attained, it 
is not easy to learn. Certainly but few gems have appeared in 
the market of late from that locality. 

The largest crystal ever found, which is five times larger than 
any other known crystal, is one early discovered by Mr. Jenks 
and described by Professor Shepard. It is now in the cabinet at 
Amherst College ; but much injured by the disastrous fire of 1882, 
which destroyed so many fine specimens of the Shepard Collec- 

4 6 


tion there. This crystal weighs 312 pounds, is perfectly termin- 
ated, partly red and partly blue in color, but opaque. (See Illus- 
tration)* Another large crystal, also obtained by Mr. Jenks and 
purchased by Professor Shepard, weighed nf pounds. These 
two specimens are more fully described as follows : The largest is 
red at the surface, but of a bluish-gray color within. The gene- 
ral figure is pyramidal, showing, however, more than a single six- 
sided pyramid, whose summit is terminated by a rather uneven 
and somewhat undefined hexagonal plane. The smaller crystal is 
a regular hexagonal prism, well terminated at one of its extremi- 
ties, the other being drusy and incomplete. The general color is 
a grayish-blue, though there are spots, particularly near the angles, 
of a pale sapphire tint. Its greatest breadth is 6 inches and its 
length over 5. Some of the lateral planes are coated in patches 
with a white, pearly margarite. Only the smaller crystals 
found at Franklin furnish material suitable for use in jewelry. 
They are frequently transparent near their extremities, so 
that small gems can be cut from them; but scarcely any of 
those thus far obtained are worth $ioo and not 100 have been 
found in all. 

In variety of color the North Carolina corundum excels; it is 
gray, green, rose, ruby-red, emerald-green, sapphire-blue, dark- 
blue, violet, brown, yellow of all intervening shades and colorless. 
Many specimens have been cut and mounted, especially of the 
blue and red shades, and make good gems, though not of the 
choicest quality. The two finest rubies are in the collection of 
Clarence S. Bement, of Philadelphia, in a suite of the choicest crys- 
tals found at the Culsagee Mine* Among these is probably the fin- 
est known specimen of emerald-green sapphire (oriental emerald). 
It is the transparent part of a crystal of corundum, 4x2x1!- 
inches, from which could be cut several pieces that would together 
furnish from 80 to 100 carats of very fine, almost emerald-green 
gems (not too dark, as in the Siamese), the largest possibly 20 
carats or more in weight* As its color is one of the rarest known, 
it makes this specimen a very valuable one. There is in this col- 
lection a beautiful crystal of yellow and blue in consecutive bands 
(see Colored Plate No, i), from which it is estimated that at 
least $1,000 worth of gems could be cut. A dark-blue stone of 



i carat weight is in the United States National Museum at Wash- 
ington, and a series of fine red and blue crystals have been 
deposited there by S, F. Lucas. In the collection disposed of by 
Prof. Joseph Leidy, of Philadelphia, a few years ago, were sev- 
eral gems from the same mine, including a wine-yellow sapphire 
of 3J- carats (660 milligrams) ; a violet-blue stone of a little over 
1 carat (215 milligrams) ; and three dark-blue ones weighing re- 
spectively about G (320 milligrams), (250 milligrams) and £ 
(145 milligrams) carats each. In Professor Genth’s suite of co- 
rundums are some from North Carolina and Pennsylvania that 
would afford opalescent stones with fixed stars and other inter- 
esting forms. Many fine examples of corundum from Pennsylvania 
are in the cabinets of W. W. Jefferis, now of Philadelphia, Lewis 
W. Palmer, of Media, and Dr. Cardesa, of Claymont. Specimens 
from Pennsylvania and North Carolina are also to be found in the 
cabinets of Joseph Wilcox and Dr. Isaac Lea, and in the William 
S. Vaux cabinet at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. 
Near the Franklin, N. C,, locality there has been obtained a con- 
siderable amount of a brown variety of corundum, 1 which shows 
distinct asterism, both by artificial light and in the sunlight, when 
the stone is cut en cabochon. A similar variety, though of 
darker brown, with a bronze-like reflection, has also been found, 
some twelve miles from Franklin, by Mr. Chatard. These all 
show a slight bronze play of light on the dome of the cabochon in 
ordinary light, and under artificial light they show well-defined stars, 
being really asterias or star-sapphires, and not cat’s-eyes, as might 
seem at first sight to be the case. Similar light-brown corundums, 
showing asteriation and cleavage faces of the crystals, are found in 
Delaware County, Pa. A fine opalescent variety of deep indigo 
color is reported by E. A. Hutchins, as obtained by him from near 
Franklin and elsewhere in Macon County. Red and pink corun- 
dum is found at the Cullakenee Mine, in Buck County, and also 
at Penland’s, on Shooting Creek, in Clay County. From the for- 
mer locality there is a fine ruby-colored specimen in the cabinet 
of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, and in the Vaux 
Collection a remarkable black crystal, the locality given for which 
is Buncombe County. 

1 Transactions New York Academy of Sciences, p. 52, Jan., 1884, 

4 8 


Among other varieties found at various points in North Car- 
olina, the following may be noted : Two miles northeast of Pigeon 
River, near the crossing of the Asheville road, in Haywood 
County, and two miles north of this, on the west fork of Pigeon 
River, at Presley Mine, are found some of the finest colored spec- 
imens of blue and grayish-blue corundum. Twenty miles north- 
east of this, at the Carter Mine, fine white and pink corundum 
occurs in crystals and in a laminated form. Blue, bluish-white 
and reddish varieties occur at Swannanoa Gap, Buncombe County. 
J. A, D. Stephenson found fine hexagonal prisms of a pale brown- 
ish corundum at Belt’s Ridge and more recently some very fine, 
fair colors from several new localities near Statesville. Fine crys- 
tals have also been found in the Hogback Mine, Jackson County. 

The chief locality for gem-sapphires in the United States 
is near Helena, Mont., where they occur as loose crystals, 
usually small, but often transparent and of good colors. They 
are found on bars in the Upper Missouri River, more or less 
rolled among gravel, and in the riffles and sluices of the gold- 
washers, with the gold, garnets and other heavy minerals of 
the placer mines. Dr. J. Lawrence Smith was the first to 
describe these Montana sapphires, as follows : “ These pebbles 
are found on the Missouri River near its source, about sixty-one 
miles above Benton ; they are obtained from bars on the river, 
of which there are some four or five within a few miles of each 
other. In the mining region of this territory considerable 
gold is found on these bars, it having been brought down the 
river and lodged there, and the bars are now being worked for 
gold. The corundum is scattered through the gravel (which is 
about 5 feet deep) upon the rock bed. Occasionally it is 
found in the gravel and upon the rock bed in the gulches, from 
40 to 50 feet below the surface, but it is very rare in such 
localities.” 1 

It is most abundant upon the Eldorado bar, situated on the 
Missouri River about 20 miles from Helena, where, at one time, 
a man could collect from 1 to 2 pounds a day. Some of these 
have been cut, and one very perfect stone of 3& carats and of 
good green color, almost equal to the best oriental emerald, has 

■ Am. J. Sci. III., Vol. 6, p. 185, Sept., 1873. 



bee a obtained The Montana specimens rarely exceed £■ inch 
to i inch in length. (See Colored Plate No. i.) They are 
brilliant but usually of pale tints* Two gems are in the Amherst 
College Collection, which weigh about £ carat each* One is 
a true ruby-red, and the other a sapphire-blue, colors rarely met 
with here. The gems are usually of a light-green, greenish-blue, 
light-blue, bluish-red, light-red and red, and the intermediate 
shades. They are usually dichroitic, and often blue in one 
direction and red in another, or when viewed through the length 
of the crystal, and frequently all the colors mentioned will 
assume a red or reddish tinge by artificial light. A fine one of 
9 carats was found of a rich steel-blue, A very beautiful piece 
of jewelry, in the form of a crescent, was made of these stones 
by Tiffany & Co,, in 1883 ; at one end the stones were red, 
shaded to bluish-red in the center, and blue at the other end ; 
by artificial light the color of all turned red* Perfect gems of 
from 4 to 6 carats each are frequently met with* Occasionally 
crystals are found which would afford ruby and sapphire asterias 
of a poor quality* The value of the gems cut from material 
found in this district amounted at one time to fully $2,000 a 
year. Many are found that are never cut, for it requires greater 
skill, involving much higher cost, to cut sapphire, than gems which 
are less hard* In the latter part of 1889 specimens were shown 
to the writer of a trachyte rock, imbedded in which were 
well-defined crystals of sapphire, similar to those found on the 
Eldorado bar, from a dyke on the Missouri River near and above 
that locality* The sapphire on Eldorado bar evidently came from 
this rock, and, on its disintegration, was washed down the river. 


Silica 3*28 

Alumina* . , , , , * «&5' 75 

Ferric Oxide**,..,* 4*26 

Titanic Oxide..*.*. ,*. **,* 2*74 
Magnesia trace 

Lime**.*,.,.*. ., — ** 1-99 

Water ,***,. 137 

Color red to gray 

Locality ***,,.., Sliimerville, Pa. 
Analyst * * , * ... Edgar F. Smith 1 

Sapphires are obtained to a limited extent in Colorado. 
William B. Smith states, in the “ Proceedings of the Colorado 
Scientific Society,” that near Calumet, about twelve or fourteen 
miles from Salida, corundum is found in what has proved to be 
a corundum schist. The crystals are in flat hexagonal plates, 

1 Am* Chem* J.* VoJ. 5* p. 272. 


have a bluish tinge, in some cases quite deep, and are from i to 
5 millimeters (‘039 to ‘196 inch) in thickness* Hoffman men- 
tions corundum occurring in fragments near Silver Peak, Nev* 1 
Rubies and sapphires have been erroneously reported to be 
found in the surface sands and gravels of Arizona and New 
Mexico, associated with the pyrope garnet* 


crystallizes in the isometric system, and is generally found in the 
form of octahedrons* Its hardness is 8 and its specific gravity 
about 3*65. Following the order of the rainbow, it exists in all 
shades of red, orange, green, blue, and indigo, as well as white 
and black* The crimson and flame-red colored varieties are ex- 
ceedingly beautiful The red is called ruby spinel, and fine stones 
command high prices* Spinel is found associated with ruby in 
Burmah, Ceylon, and Siam* Its composition consists of one mol- 
ecule each of alumina and magnesia, equivalent to 72 per cent of 
alumina and 28 of magnesia* 

Spinel fine enough to cut into gems has been only occasion- 
ally met with in the United States* The Rev. Alfred Free of 
Toms River, N. J., had in his possession at one time cut gems of 
a smoky blue or velvety green and a dark-tinted claret color, 
from the locality near Hamburgh, Sussex County, N. J. They 
were all good specimens, weighing about 2 carats each* Some 
half dozen from San Luis Obispo, Cal, of very good quality 
and weighing about 2 carats each, were brought to the notice of 
the writer by James W* Beath, of Philadelphia, Pa. Silas C* 
Young, who, for over twenty years has collected minerals in 
Orange County, N* Y*, writes that in his extensive working for 
minerals he has found small ruby spinels, also others of a smoky 
and purple tint, sufficiently clear to cut The locality at Ham- 
burgh, N* J., was discovered by his father over fifty years ago* 

The region of granular limestone and serpentine in which 
spinels abound extends from Amity, N* Y., to Andover, N. J., a 
distance of thirty miles. Monroe, Norwich, and Cornwall, N* Y, ? 
are well-known localities. The finest crystals from the locality 
known as Monroe, N. Y., are in the Vaux and Bement Collec- 

Mineralogy of Nevada, 


tions, Philadelphia, and in the Amherst College Collection. 
The place that furnished the monster spinel crystals so well- 
known to collectors of twenty years ago, is probably somewhere 
between Monroe and Southfield. Its exact situation was known 
only to the two collectors, Silas Horton and John Jenkins, both 
now deceased, who secretly worked the locality some years by 
moonlight, and from it took crystals that realized for them over 
$6,000, although many fine crystals were ruined in blasting and 
breaking out. Since the death of these workers the location has 
been lost. 

The gahnite green spinel from the Deak Mine, Mitchell 
County, N. C., is of a very dark-green color, translucent on the 
edges, and appears to be compact enough for cutting. The lo- 
calities of Franklin and Sterling, N. J., have afforded some of the 
finest known crystals of this mineral, some of which would cut 
into mineralogical gems. At the lead mine at Canton, Ga., some 
fine crystals were found implanted on galenite. Professor Genth 
mentions in his “ Contributions to Mineralogy ” large, rough crys- 
tals, 3& inches (9 centimeters) long, from the Cotopaxi Mine, 
Chaffee County, Col. In a specimen of gahnite sent the writer 
from a lead mine in New Mexico the crystals were bright, 
polished octahedrons, from £ to | inch across, translucent on the 
edges, imbedded in galenite. This most interesting and curious 
association was accompanied with massive garnet. The locality 
may rightfully be regarded as one of the most interesting for this 
variety, and it is to be regretted that more exact information 
cannot be obtained regarding it. Gahnite is found in the pyrite 
mines, associated with iron pyrite quartz, at Rowe, Mass., 1 the 
larger crystals having a diameter of inch. 


This is an aluminium hydrate, with a hardness of about 7 
and a specific gravity of 3 *4. 

Probably the finest known diaspores are those which were 
found with corundum near Unionville, Chester County, Pa. 
There crystals have been obtained from £ to i* inches in length, 
and } inch in thickness, the color varying from white to a fawn 

1 Am. J. Sci. III., YoL 29, p. 455J June, 1885* 


j 1 





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color, inclining to a topaz-yellow, while some are of a slightly 
brownish tint. They closely approach topaz in appearance, and 
would afford gems as fine as any yet obtained. The best of 
these specimens are in the cabinets of Dr. Isaac Lea and Joseph 
Wilcox, of Philadelphia, Pa. At the emery mines of Chester, 
Mass., have been found masses of small crystals, which might be 
cut into minute cabinet gems. Joseph C. Trautwine, of Phila- 
delphia, obtained some minute acicular crystals in a cavity of 
massive corundum at the Culsagee Mine in North Carolina. 
Gen. Thomas L. Clingman also observed the mineral associated 
with blue corundum near Marshall, Madison County, N. C. 



T URQUOISE is a hydrated phosphate of alumina some- 
times containing small quantities of copper, iron, or 
manganese. Its hardness is 6, and specific gravity 
275. The finest varieties, which generalljrdo not lose 
their color easily, have been for centuries found in small veins in 
a clay slate in the vicinity of Nishapoor, Persia. Large quanti- 
ties are brought from Egypt, but this variety, although dark-blue 
when found, often changes in a short time to a verdigris green. 

This mineral is found at Los Cerrillos, N. M. ; Turquoise 
Mountain, Cochise County, Ariz. ; Mineral Park, Mohave County, 
Ariz. ; near Columbus, Nev. ; Holy Cross Mountain, Col. ; and 
Taylor’s Ranch, P'resno County, Cal. The first-named locality is 
part of a group of conical mountains situated about twenty-two 
miles southeast of Santa Fe, N. M., and north of the Placer or 
Gold Mountains, from which they are separated by the valley of 
the Galisteo River. The rocks of which they are composed are 
yellow and gray quartzite sandstones and porphyry dykes. Prob- 
ably the sandstones are of the Carboniferous period, and they are 
so much uplifted and metamorphosed that the sedimentary char- 
acter is partly obliterated. William P. Blake describes the local- 
ity as being an immense pit, with precipitous sides of angular 
rock, projecting in crags, sustaining in the fissures a growth of 




pines and shrubs. On one side, the rocks' tower into a precipice, 
and so overhang as to form a cave, at another place the side is 
low, and formed by the broken rocks that were removed from the 
top of the cliff. The excavations, which appear to be about 200 
feet in depth and 300 or more in width, were made in the solid 
rock, and thousands of tons of rock have been broken out. The 
lower part of the working is funnel-shaped, and is formed by the 
sloping banks of the debris or fragments of the side walls. On 
the debris, at the bottom of the pit, and on the bank of the refuse 
rock, pine trees are now growing. There are several other pits in 
the vicinity more limited in extent, and some of them, apparently, 
more recently excavated. Prof. Benjamin Silliman, Jr., who 
visited this locality in 1 880, states : “ The age of eruption of these 
volcanic rocks is probably tertiary. The rocks which form 
Mount Chalchihuitl are at once distinguished from those of the 
surrounding and associated ranges of the Cerrillos by their white 
color and decomposed appearance, closely resembling tufa and 
kaolin, and giving evidence of extensive alteration, due probably 
to the escape through them, at this point, of heated vapors of 
water and perhaps of other vapors or gases, by the action of 
which the original crystalline structure of the mass has been com- 
pletely decomposed or metamorphosed with the production of 
new chemical compounds. Among these, the turquoise is the 
most conspicuous and important. In this yellowish-white and 
kaolin-like tufaceous rock the turquoise is found in thin veinlets 
and little balls or concretions called nuggets, covered with a crust 
of the nearly white tuff, which within consists generally, as shown 
on a cross fracture, of the less valued varieties of this gem, but 
occasionally affords fine sky-blue stones of higher value for orna- 
mental purposes. Blue-green stains are seen in every direction 
among the decomposed rocks, but the turquoise in mass is ex- 
tremely rare, and many tons of the rocks may be broken without 
finding a single stone that a jeweler or collector would value as a 
gem. The waste or ddbris excavated in the former workings 
covers an area which extends over twenty acres at least. On the 
slopes and sides of these great piles are large cedars and pines, 

3 The Chalchihuitl of the Ancient Mexicans : Its Locality and Association, and Its Identity with 
Turquoise, Am. J. Sch II., Vol. 25, p. 227, March, 1858, 



the age of which, judging from their size and the slowness of 
growth in this very dry region, must be reckoned by centuries.” 1 
It is well known that in 1680 a large section of the moun- 
tains suddenly fell in from the undermining of the mass by the 
Indian miners, killing a number of them, and that this accident 
was the immediate cause of the uprising of the Pueblos, which re- 
sulted in the expulsion of the Spaniards. On both the east and 
west side of the mountain, shafts have been sunk, which were in- 
tended to be connected at their base by a subterranean tunnel. 
The entrance to the main mining shafts on the west side is 194 
feet below the spot where the Indians originally began their ex- 
cavations. (See Illustration.) Recently several caves have been 
unearthed extending from the level of the long-abandoned mine. 
Some of the most curious of these openings, named the Won- 
der Caves, are about 75 feet northwest of Shaft No. 1, on 
the east side of the mountain, and appear to have been hermet- 
ically sealed by the Indian peons on abandoning the mine; 
their discovery was purely accidental. The Wonder Caves are 
almost 25 feet from the surface and run 100 feet from the apex 
of the mountain, being about 30 by 25 feet in width and from 6 to 
8 feet in height above the debris. The group resembles in shape 
the five fingers with the hand. Here were found numerous veins 
of turquoise from inch to 2 inches in thickness, and strips of 
gold-bearing quartz cover the walls of the central cave. The 
bottom is composed of loose rock, almost 20 feet deep, which is 
supposed to have been thrown there by the Indians when the 
mine was sealed. The roof is supported by pillars from 10 to 
20 feet thick. It is presumed that further explorations would 
bring to light openings through these walls, showing that the en- 
tire mountain was honeycombed by the ancients, and the pillars 
left by them to support the roof. This information was obtained 
in 1880 by the efforts of the mining company under J. B. Hyde, 
who supposed that the mine could be worked for gold and tur- 
quoise ; but the effort, after the expenditure of thousands of dol- 
lars, proved unsuccessful. The only work that is carried on at 
present at the Los Cerrillos Mines is done in a very desultory 
mannerby either the local lapidaries, poor whites, or Indians. It 

1 Eng. and Min. J., Vol. 3 1 s p. 169* Sept. io, 1 S 8 1 * 



consists in building large fires against the base of the rock which 
becomes heated, whereupon water is thrown over it. The sud- 
den change of temperature cracks off large pieces, and much of 
the turquoise is ruined in the process. After cracking off the 
rock, the turquoise is picked out of the exposed seams with pieces 
of pointed iron, such as old harrow-teeth, or any other sharp- 
pointed instrument. Only occasionally is there a blast put in. 
The turquoise is sold in Santa Fe, or along the line of the rail- 
road in the vicinity of the mines, by the Indians of the San 
Domingo pueblo, N. M, The specimens are ground into round 
or heart-shaped ornaments, which are pierced with a crude form 
of bow-drill, called by them “ malakates." The drilling point is 
either quartz or agate, and the wheel to give velocity was in one 
instance made of the bottom of a cup. The selling price of the 
ornaments is now very low, the Indians disposing of their speci- 
mens at the rate of twenty-five cents for the contents of a mouth, 
where they usually carry them. A string made up of many hun- 
dreds of stones, they value at the price of a pony. Comparatively 
little of the American turquoise finds sale except as cabinet 
specimens, or as mementos of travel. Still, for ornamental or in- 
laying work, were it properly introduced, it might have a large 
sale, as the green and blue-green tints would contrast favorably 
with many stones or with dark wood. It is possible that deeper 
workings will develop finer stones, perhaps of such material as 
will maintain a more permanent color. Concerning the origin of 
the turquoise veining rock, both Prof. John S. Newberry and Prof. 
Benjamin Silliman, Jr., regard it as eruptive. According to Prof. 
Frank W. Clarke, the very small size of the veins and their limited 
distribution show that the turquoise is of local origin, and he em- 
phasizes the idea that it has resulted from the alteration of some 
other mineral. In addition to the facts tending to show its deriva- 
tion from apatite, there is also the fact that epidote containing 
lime is present as a secondary product. The existence of the 
pyrite in the gold-bearing veins may have had something to do 
with initiating the process of alteration, and the alumina of the 
turquoise was probably derived from decomposing feldspar. Dur- 
ing the summer of 1885 a very full suite of specimens was col- 
lected by Maj. John W. Powell, and placed for analysis in the 



hands of Professor Clarke, chief chemist of the United States 
Geological Survey, and are now deposited in the United States 
National Museum Collection. 

This mineral varies in color from a fine sky-blue through 
many shades of bluish-green and apple-green to dark-green, 
showing no blue whatever. The dark-green nodules pass to 
white at the center, sometimes resembling in structure certain 
varieties of malachite. Many of the specimens obtained by 
Major Powell, which are seamed or streaked by limonite, 
Professor Clarke suggests have been derived from the accom- 
panying pyrite ; and the latter mineral is occasionally found, 
bright and unaltered, enclosed completely in masses of clear 
blue turquoise. Three samples, selected as representing as 
nearly as possible the most definite types of the mineral, may be 
briefly described as, A. Bright blue, faintly translucent in thin 
splinters. B. Pale blue with a slight greenish cast, opaque and 
earthy in lustre, and having a specific gravity of 2-805. C. Dark 
green in color and opaque. These were analyzed, with the fol- 
lowing results : 

A 1 



Alumina ) 

Ferric Oxide j 

39 * S 3 

2 -40 



Phosph 0 r us Pe nto xi d e , . 




Copper Monoxide 





' ] 3 


Silica, * . . . 


T 6 

4- 20 

Water * 



i S’ 49 




In Professor Silliman’s paper there is reported 3*81 of 
copper, which corresponds to 4-78 of copper monoxide. On 
account of the value of this gem, attempts have been made to 
color -it by artificial means. The discovery of this deception was 
made by the writer, who saw numerous parcels of turquoise sent to 
New York from New Mexico, and among them several small 
lots with an exceptionally fine color for American specimens. 
This color did not appear to be natural, although the stones 

1 Analysis A was not completed , as material enough could not be obtained without the 
destruction of two valuable specimens. The silica in it was due to traces of admixed rock from 
which the material could not be perfectly freed, C, however, was free from rock, and the 
silica in it must be otherwise accounted for. 



were found to have the same specific gravity as others from New 
Mexico, and when tried with a knife cut with the characteristic 
soapy, ivory feel. It was only after the back had been scraped 
off to some depth that the fact was revealed that they were 
artificially stained. The coloring matter used was the same as 
that employed in Germany to make the breccia agate that 
resembles lapis-lazuli, and is often sold as such to tourists. In 
this case, however, the Prussian blue is only a superficial stain, 
and the intensity of the blue is modified by the green. It can 
readily be removed, without injury to the stone, by scraping the 
back with a knife. Prussian blue dissolves readily in ammonium 
hydroxide, so that the simplest test is to wash the stone in 
alcohol, and after wiping it, to remove any grease, and lay it in 
the ammonia solution for a moment, when the blue color will 
partially or wholly disappear, and the gem resume its natural 
greenish hue. If it is desired to examine the stone without 
destroying the color, the face should be covered with wax, which 
should be allowed to project above the back, and a little strong 
ammonium hydroxide poured into this groove. If artificial, the 
difference of the shades of the two sides will be apparent at once. 
If stones thus stained are worn in rings, their color is soon 
affected by the water used in washing the hands. Ammonia 
does not affect the color of true Persian turquoises, although 
washing the hands with them on usually does. By artificial light 
the color of this stained turquoise is rather gray-blue, and 
appears duller instead of lighter, as is the case with the genuine 
turquoise. A stone costing $100 to $200, if found to be stained, 
would depreciate to only a hundredth part of its original cost. 
The deception is to be regretted, since it will cast suspicion on 
any fine turquoise that may be found in this country hereafter ; 
but the test is so simple that any one can satisfy himself as to 
the genuineness of the specimen. A few stones cut from New 
Mexico turquoise, which had at the time of cutting a very good 
color, changed to the characteristic green within a few days. 
William P. Blake 1 also describes a second locality in Cochise 
County, Ariz., about twenty miles from Tombstone and not far 

1 New Locality of the Green Turquoise known as Chalchihuitl. By William P. Blake. Am. 
J. Sd. II., VoL 25, p. 22^ March, 1858, 



from the stronghold of the Apache chief, Cochise. This locality, 
likewise worked by the ancients, is now known as Turquoise 
Mountain, and as there are several deposits of silver ores in 
the vicinity, a mining district has been formed known as the 
Turquoise District. At the place itself, there are two or more 
ancient excavations upon the south face of the mountain, and 
large piles of waste or debris thrown out are overgrown with 
vegetation. The place has been worked only for a short time, 
and probably never by the Apaches. The excavations are not 
so extensive as those at Los Cerrillos, and the mineral is more 
difficult to find ; but, though it is less abundant here, its identity 
with the New Mexican chalchihuitl has been satisfactorily estab- 
lished. The rock is all similar, and the turquoise occurs in 
seams and veinlets rarely more than ^ or £ inch in thickness. 
In color it is light apple-green or pea-green, rather than blue. 
The specific gravity of two different fragments gave 2*710 and 
2*828, of which the first was slightly porous and earthy and the 
second dense, hard, and homogeneous. 

In 1883 the author saw a series of finely colored specimens, 
which had been obtained at Mineral Park, Ariz., and brought to 
New York city. They had been taken from three veins, varying 
in thickness from 1 to 4 inches, about 100 yards apart, running 
almost parallel, and traceable for nearly half a mile. This de- 
posit showed evidences of having been mined by the Spaniards, 
and a large number of stone hammers was found, indicating that 
it had also been worked by the Indians. Hoffmann, in the “ Min- 
eralogy of Nevada,” states that turquoise is also found in a local- 
ity situated in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, five miles north of 
Columbus. This locality was visited by J. E. Clayton, who re- 
ports that, on a sharp ridge, about half a mile southwest of the 
Northern Bell Mine, in the Columbus District of southern Ne- 
vada, he found turquoise in seams and bunches in a metamorphic 
sandstone of a brownish color, not vitreous enough to be classed 
as a quartzite. The best specimens were in small, roundish peb- 
bles in clusters, imbedded in the brown sandstone, in size from 
that of a duckshot up to a third of an inch in diameter. Some 
fine ones have been obtained, equal in color and hardness to the 
best standard. Those which occurred in seams were higher 



colored and softer. The principal sale is in San Francisco, 
where the sandstone is cut with the turquoise in it, making a rich 
mottled stone for jewelry. Although the nodules are small, this 
is the finest turquoise for color and quality found on the conti- 
nent. At Taylor’s Ranch, Chowchillas River, Fresno County, 
Cal., several hexagonal crystals of bluish-green turquoise have 
been found, each about i inch in length. They were identified 
as turquoise by Dr. Gideon E. Moore, and are of great interest 
as to the origin of turquoise. The crystalline characters were 
such that V. von Zepharovich believed them to be pseudomorph 
after crystals of apatite. 1 (See Fig. i.) 

That the ancient Mexicans held the turquoise in high esteem 
is well known, and that the Los Cerrillos Mines were exten- 
sively worked prior to the discovery of America, 
is proved by fragments of Aztec pottery — vases; 
drinking, eating, and cooking utensils ; stone ham- 
mers, wedges, mauls, and idols — discovered in the 
debris found everywhere. While Major Hyde was 
exploring this neighborhood, in 1880, he was visited 
by several Pueblo Indians from San Domingo, who 
stated that the turquoise he was taking from the old TURQUOISE AFTER 
mine was sacred, and must not go into the hands of 
those whose saviour was not Montezuma, offering, at the same 
time, to purchase all that might come from the mine in the 
future. In the Mystery Cave, there was found a stone hammer 
weighing 13/? pounds, with its handle attached. Additional 
evidence of the antiquity of the turquoise workings of New 
Mexico and Arizona has been gathered by the Hemenway 
Expedition, sent out by Mrs. Hemenway, under the direction 
of Lieut. Frank H. Cushing. There was found a prairie dog 
cut out of white marble, with turquoises for eyes (see Illustration) ; 
also, about ten miles from Tempe, Ariz., enclosed in asbestos, in 
a decorated Zuni jar, a sea shell coated with black pitch, in which 
were incrusted turquoises and garnets in the form of a toad, the 
sacred emblem of the Zuni. (See Colored Plate No. 2.) The 
Christy Collection in London contains two human skulls which 

1 Kail ait pseudomorph xiach Apatit aus Califomlen, Zeitsehrift filr Krystallograpluc, Vol. 10, 
p. 240, 1 S$5* 



are inlaid with turquoise and have eyes made of iron pyrites (see 
Illustration), and a finger-ring made of the central whorl of a 
cone-like shell (see Colored Plate No. 2), in which triangular- 
shaped pieces of turquoise and red spondylus shell were inlaid. 
Pieces of dark wood were also inlaid with turquoise. 

Bernal Diaz, who came over with Cortez, mentions that on 
the landing of the explorers at San juan de Ulloa, the ambassa- 
dor from Montezuma brought various rich presents, including 
four chalchihuitls, each of which the ambassador claimed was 
worth more than a load of gold. Diaz states that the chalchi- 
huitls were green stones of uncommon value, and held in higher 
estimation among the Indians than the smaragdus or emerald 
was among the Spaniards. Torquemada, who regarded chal- 
chihuitl as a species of emerald, states that the Mexicans gave 
the name “ Chalchihuitl ” to Cortez, intending thus to show 
their respect for him as a captain of great valor, “ for chalchi- 
huitl is of the color of the emerald, and emeralds were held in 
great esteem. ” Offerings of this stone were made by the Indians 
in the temple of the goddess Matlalcueye, and it was their 
custom to place a fragment in the mouths of distinguished chiefs 
when buried. Torquemada, in recording this fact, says that 
these stones were emeralds, but that they were called chalchi- 
huitl by the Indians. When Alvarada and Montezuma played 
together at games of chance, Alvarada paid, if he lost, in chal- 
chihuitl stones, but received gold if he won. 

The Indians claimed that the art of cutting and polishing 
chalchihuitl was taught them by the god Quetzalcohvatl. Ber- 
nardino de Sahagun considered chalchihuitl to be a jasper of 
a very green color, or a common smaragdus. He states that 
they are green and opaque, and are much worn by the chiefs 
strung on a thread around their wrists, being regarded as a 
badge of distinction. (See Illustration.) Friar Marco de Nica 
in 1539 made a journey among the Indians of New Mexico, and 
in his narrative frequently mentions green and bluish stones, 
which were worn as ornaments by them, pendant from the ears 
and nose. He also mentions seeing many “ turqueses,” which 
there is little doubt he considered the green stones to be. These 
turquoises were worn, not only in the ears and nose, but as neck- 




laces and girdles. They were called Cacona by the Indians, and 
were obtained from the kingdom. On arriving at this place 
De Nica observes that “the people have emeralds and other 
jewels, although they esteem none so much as turquoises, where- 
with they adorn the walls of the porches of their houses and 
apparel and vessels, and they use them instead of money through 
all the country.” Coronado, who visited Civola in 1540, denies 
De Nica’s statement respecting the turquoises upon the porches 
of the houses, but he obtained turquoise ear-rings and tablets 
set with the stones. The turquoise has always been the favorite 
jewel of the western tribes of Indians and was extensively in use 
at the time of the Conquest by Coronado, in 1541. Fra Saverio 
Claverigo,' alluding to the minor kingdom states tributary to the 
main kingdom, says : “ Among articles of tribute annually 
required from these natives, mention is made of ten small 
measures of fine turquoises and one carga of ordinary tur- 
quoises,” and elsewhere the first present from Montezuma to 
Charles V. of Spain, through Cortez, is thus referred to : “The 
present of the Catholic king consisted of various works of gold, 
ten bales of most curious rolls of feathers and fair gems, so 
highly valued by the Mexicans that, as Tehuitlile himself, the 
ambassador of Montezuma to Cortez, affirmed, each gem was 
worth a load of gold.” According to the Mexican system 
of weights, 240 pounds constituted a load of gold. Esti- 
mating gold at $20 an ounce, the value of these gems was 
over $57,000. It is a well authenticated fact that these gems 
referred to were turquoises, and it is believed that they 
are now among the crown jewels of Spain. In the memoir on 
ancient turquoise mosaics, recently published by Luigi Pigoni, 
director of the Ethnographic Museum in Rome,’ it is stated that 
the objects of this kind known as Mexican are distributed as 
follows: five in the Museum in Rome; seven in the Christy 
Collection in London ; one in a private collection in England ; 
two in the Ethnographic Museum in Berlin ; and one in Gotha. 

1 hose in the Christy Collection have been described by E, B, 

1 History of Mexico, Cesena, 1780-1881. 

* Gli Antichi Oggette Messicani Incrostati di Mosaico Isistenti Nel Museo Prcistorico- 
Etaografico di Roma* Roma, 1885. 

6 4 


Tylor in his “ Anahuac ; or, Mexico and the Mexicans, Ancient 
and Modern,” p, 337; also in the “British Museum Guide to the 
Christy Collection” (1868), p. 20; and by Brasseur de Bourbourg 
in his “ Recherches sur les ruines de Palenque et sur les origines 
de la civilization du Mexique ” with drawings by M. de Waldeck 
(Paris, 1866). The specimens in the Copenhagen Museum have 
been described in “ Congrfes International d’anthropologie pre- 
historique, Compte Rendu de la 4me Session ” (Copenhagen, 
1869), p. 462, and by Steinhauer in “Das konigltche Ethno- 
graphische Museum zu Copenhagen" (1881), p. 19. The three 
in Berlin have been described in a lecture before the Anthro- 
pological Society of Berlin, Adolph Bastian claimed that one 
had originally been the property of Alexander von Humboldt, 


Chemical Composition 




Los Cerrillos! 
New Mexico, 

F, W. Clarke, 1 

L os Cerrillos, 
New Mexico, 

F. W, Clarke.® 

Los Ccrrillus, 
New Mexico. 

F, W. Clarke. 3 

Taylor's Ranch, 

G. E, Moore, 4 


Bright Blue, 

Pile Blue. 

Dark Green. 

Blue Given. 

Phosphoric Acid . . . 





33‘ 21 

Alumina . 





Ferric Oxide 

f 39' 53 } 




Copper Oxide 

> * 



6' 56 

7* So 

Lime; , 

ri z 

o- 3S 


p* 16 



20' 50 

1 * j 




Specific Gravity 


2* 806 

\ 1 F. W. Clarke, Am. J. Sci. III., Vol. 3 a, p. an, Sepi., i38fi. 

* Gideon E, Moore t Zeit. fiir Kryst, u. Min, jo, 1240, 

while the other two were from the Ducal Museum of Brunswick. 
See “ Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft fur Anthropol- 
ogie ” (1885), p. 201. The exact ownership of the one in 
Gotha does not appear to be known. Illustrations of these 
objects are to be found in the works of E. B. Tylor and Brasseur 
de Bourbourg, and notices of them appear in various books of 
the seventeenth century, among which are “ Pyranarcha sive 
de fulminum natura” by Liceti (Padua, 1643), P- J 43> a °d 
“ Musaeum Metallicum,” by Aldrovandi (Bologna, 1647), p. 550 ; 
“ Museo Cospiano,” by Legati (Bologna, 1677), p. 477; and in 
Clavigero “ Storia antica del Messico ’’ (Vol. II., Book 7, 
Chap. 52). These mosaics are made with pieces of broken 


shells. The art is still practised in Guatemala, Pigoni’s 
pamphlet is specially devoted to a description of the masks of 
the Museum in Rome, Of these, three are mentioned in the 
books of the seventeenth century, the first having been the 
property of Aldrovandi, while the other two are from the Museo 
Cospiano. The mask shown In the plate of the pamphlet as 
No. 4 is the one mentioned by Aldra vandi in his " Musaeum 
Metallicum.” It is made of wood, one side of which is left 
natural and carved out so as to fit the human face, while parts 
of the front side are painted, and these are incrusted in mosaic. 
Among the materials composing the incrustations are turquoise, 
white, pearly, red, and black sea shells, also small garnets, with 
several minute square pieces of metal. This mask was in the 
Archaeological Museum of Bologna until 1878, and its history is 
well known, as it originally belonged to the Aldrovandi Collec- 
tion. The mask designated on the plate as No. 5 is well pre- 
served, and was acquired in 1880 from Florence. The mosaic 
is formed of red shell and turquoise. In the ethnographic 
collection of the College of the Propaganda in Rome, there 
are also two masks, differing from the others in not being in- 
crusted with mosaic, but tinted red, and engraved with lines that 
are filled in with white material. These have been described 
and illustrated by Dr. Guiseppe A. Colini in the u Bulletino 
della Societa geografica Italian a,” Vok 19, p. 324, 325. 


Topaz and Tourmaline (Rubellite, Indicolite, and Aehroite). 

T OPAZ crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, and oc- 
curs in prisms with one end regularly terminated, and 
has a very perfect cleavage transverse to the prism. 
Its hardness is 8, and specific gravity 3*53* It is a 
silicate of alumina containing fluorine, A blue crystal weighing 
20 pounds is in the Imperial Mining School at St Petersburg, 
Russia. Fine blue and sherry colored crystals have been found 
in Siberia, blue ones in Scotland and Ireland, yellow in Minas 
Geraes, Brazil ; white in Villa Rica, Brazil ; and blue and white 
in Ceylon and Australia. Brazilian or true mineralogical topaz 
is often confounded with two other minerals, namely, citrine and 
Spanish or Saxon topaz, the color of which is made by heating 
and so decolorizing smoky quartz to various shades of yellow or 
brown. Yellow sapphire is called Oriental topaz. The specific 
gravities of the three varieties are given for comparison. 


Oriental Topaz* . , * 40 1 9 Alumina, 

True or Brazilian Topaz 3 55 » { S^iSE 

False or Saxon Topaz 2 65 7 Silica. 

True yellow topaz, if heated for a time, becomes pink, and 
continued heating renders it colorless. 



A Natural garnet pebble found near Fort Defiance, Arizona. 

B Garnet found near Gallup, New Mexico. 

C Peridot, Fort Defiance, Arizona. 

D E Natural pebbles of peridot, called Job's tears, found near 
Gallup, New Mexico. 

F Spessartite garnet, Amelia Court House, Virginia. [Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History, New York City.] 

G H I J Arrow points of chalcedony, carnelian, obsidian and 
jasper, Columbia River, Oregon, 

K Crystal of topaz, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. [Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History, New York City,] 


.Bfiosfi/ *pO£|j ilfiG ’1 ;,y» fwitiol ^ . 

■ ^)rp: lii> 

isim^ .1 uicK /. 

$n-l itioi lat: BO 

«rw>\h/ ^twuifbCi no^ ,iol htfl * 

‘T .<fT !,rft;i itfiSf <*do( i 1 ' Ui 1-n^ffj 'In' (f •: 

.oaxnU wa# ,qtfl|jiO 

t VU J li)7 vn> *, .7"? 32:1 i I>nu|»K 'in top?£|f// in 

i iff mitij^lo j Jarrus^ /u >b U*i r . to :*»/. i, I H 0 

^jov »!• '' • i> i <lrn,i- 0 q 

m . .ohn«.."0 . k u* 1 . OJoTTT nr /f»xl f A' <]i i lo ifrj /; A 

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r: ■ f JH /' ^ ‘>fi , itf il* .!' 


llfctD ^liirAll ufa ? >Ah t AW MHoTt*iiWrO l ' 



'■ ' 




The gem topaz has been found in Huntington and Middle- 
town, Conn.; Stoneham, Me.; North Chatham, N. H. ; Sevier 
Lake, Utah; at Nathrop, Chalk Mountain, Crystal Park, Floris- 
sant and Devil's Head Mountain, Col. ; and at Ruby Mountain, 
Nev. The first discovery of topaz in the United States was that 
of Trumbull, Conn. Specimens of it, found there in a vein of 
fluorite, associated with a chlorophane variety of fluorite, were 
sent to Prof. Benjamin Silliman, who determined it to be topaz. 
Six different determinations of its specific gravity gave results 
varying from 3^42 to 3*47, with a mean of 3 '45. In their modi- 
fication and color, the crystals afforded by this locality very strik- 
ingly resemble those from Saxony, but are generally of larger 
dimensions, and scarcely any of them would afford a gem, since 
they are nearly all opaque. This same authority, in 1838, in a 
“ Notice of a Second Locality of Topaz in Connecticut,” says:* 
“Among specimens which I obtained at China Stone Quarry, in 
Middletown, two years ago, I find one that contains above fifty 
crystals of topaz. They measure from J- to g- of an inch in length, 
are very slender and perfectly transparent, being attached by a 
lateral plane to crystals of albite." Probably the most beautiful and 
brilliant crystals of topaz known in the United States are those 
found forty miles north of Sevier Lake, Utah, and the same 
distance north of the town of Deseret on the Sevier River. This 
locality, known as Thomas Mountain, is an isolated and arid 
elevation about six miles long, and is described by Henry Engel- 
man, geologist of the expedition that, under Capt. James Simp- 
son, crossed Utah in 1859. He found crystals loose on the sur- 
face. James E. Clayton, of Salt Lake City, visited the place in 
June, 1884, and obtained a large number of beautiful crystals, larger 
than those from Nathrop, Col., and equally as brilliant as those 
from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, which they closely resemble. Mr. 
Clayton states that still larger crystals are found, and he says : 
“ They are evidently not secondary products, like zeolites, but 
primary, and produced by sublimation or crystallization from 
presumably heated solutions, contemporaneous, or nearly so, with 
the final consolidation of the rocks.'” Prof. J. Alden Smith refers 

1 Am. J. See I. t Vol, 34, p. 329, Oct M 1S38. 

■ Am. J. Sd- III., VoL 31, p. 432. June, 188 6. 





to beautiful topazes occurring in the lithophyses of rhyolite, which 
is the first noted occurrence of this gem in an eruptive rock. 1 
This rock was, however, first identified by Whitman Cross, and 
its exact locality is directly opposite Nathrop, Col., on a ridge a 
quarter of a mile in length and about 200 feet in height. Here 
the topaz is found in more or less rounded cavities, partially filled 
by its curved walls, which by concentric arrangement and an over- 
lapping often produce a roselike form. These cavities are often 
lined with minute, glassy quartz crystals, and on them are found 
the topazes, which are prismatic in form, and, being attached to 


Chemical CowposmoH 








>| J 

<S s $3 

*£ {4 




6 *, 

> £ . J- j= 


■s 53 

I 0 


f i * « j 




j-_r i > 



•J 3 0 ^ ct 





33* 1 5 












i 8-8 3 



1 6 ■ 1 2 

I 2'02 

O' I S 

, . 


v 1 2 

\Vatf*r , , , , , , , . . . 

* jj 

O ' 20 


Clear Green. 




Specific Gravity , 




1 F. W. Clarke* U. S. Geoh Bur, Bull. No. 27. 
s f\ A. Genth* Proc, Am. Phil. Soc.* Oct. 

a C, M- Bradbury* Chem, News, Sept. 7 , 1683 . 

* W. F. Hillcbranti and Whitman Cross, U. S. GtoL 
Sur* Bull. No. io. 

4 Rammelsberg, fiir pr, Ch, 7, 

4 Si [liman and Hitchcock* Am. j. Sci-fijir, 112. 

the sides of the cavities in all positions, are often found doubly 
terminated. The crystals are from l to (rarely) 1 inch in length 
and . -J- to i inch across the prism. In color they are generally 
transparent and flawless, and are either colorless, pale-blue, 
or distinctly sherry-colored. A similar occurrence is noted by 
Mr. Cross, in the nevadite of Chalk Mountain, but the crystals 
are somewhat smaller. Chalk Mountain is situated at the junc- 
ture of Lake Eagle and Summit Counties in Colorado.’ Many 
fine large topaz crystals have been found at Crystal Park, near 
Pike’s Peak, El Paso County, Col. Three crystals from this lo- 



cality, all of which are remarkable for their size and clearness, 
were very fully described by Whitman Cross and William F. 
Hillebrand, under title of “Minerals from the Neighborhood 
of Pike’s Peak, Col.” 1 One of these, a fragment of a crystal, 
was found near Florissant with amazon-stone; it is remarkable on 
account of the probable size of the original crystal, which when 
complete must have been nearly a foot in diameter. It was clear 
in parts and had a decided greenish tinge. The specific gravity 
of a fragment was 3'578and its chemical composition was entirely 
normal. Another locality of importance in the vicinity is Devil’s 
Head Mountain in the Colorado range, some thirty miles north 
of Pike’s Peak. The pocket in which the topaz was found at this 
place is of irregular shape, being about 50 feet long, from 2 to 15 
feet wide, and averaging 4 feet in depth. Owing to the dis- 
integration of the rock at the surface, many of the crystals had 
been carried in the debris to a considerable distance down the 
mountain side, and were badly worn and broken. The topaz is 
found here in isolated and usually loose crystals, surrounded by 
distorted quartz crystals of smoky reddish shades, frequently the 
exact color of the topaz. The principal color of the latter was 
reddish, although wine-yellow, milky-blue, and colorless crystals 
were found.’’ These Colorado localities have proved quite valu- 
able. Within a year after their discovery it was estimated 
that over 100 crystals had been sold for nearly $1,000, at prices 
varying from 50 cents to $100 each. 8 A topaz crystal weigh- 
ing i8£ ounces (587 grams) was found at Cheyenne Mountains, 
Col., during 1886; but, although very perfect, it had little gem 
value. There is in the United States National Museum in 
Washington a cinnamon-tinted cut stone from Pike’s Peak weigh- 
ing 15 carats, that is superior in beauty to the brilliant white 
topazes from Brazil. Several of the sherry-colored Colorado 
crystals have been cut in stones, two of the larger ones weighing 
1 25 to 193 carats each. (See Colored Plate No. 3.) During 1882, 
crystals from Harndon Hill, in the vicinity of Stoneham, Me., 
were determined by the writer to be topazes, and further research 

1 Am. J. Sd. ITT*, VoL 24 T p. 2S2. 

3 Contributions to the Mineralogy of the Rocky Mountains, p« 70, et seq., Bulletin No. 20 of 
the United States Geological Survey, Washington, 1S85. 

3 Mineral Resources of the United States, tSS6 t p. 596* 

7 ° 


resulted in the finding of large quantities of fragments. This 
locality furnished good, clear, and distinct crystals of topaz and 
has yielded the best crystals found in the East. The specimens 
are either colorless or faintly tinted with green or blue. The 
finest crystals were from f- inch to 2j- inches (io to 65 millimeters) 
across, perfect, and in part transparent. Several perfect gems 
have been cut from some of the fragments. They had the 
characteristic fluid cavities, and in hardness were the same as 
the Brazilian. 1 Some white opaque crystals, a foot in diameter, 
were blasted out by the writer. The finest crystal found at this 
locality is in the cabinet of Clarence S. llement. (See illustration.) 
During 18S8 nearly 100 crystals associated with phenacite were 
found on Bald Mountain, North Chatham, N. H., which is 
only a few miles from the Stoneham locality, both places being 
near the State line. 1 They were colorless, light-green, or cherry- 
colored on the outer sides and colorless in the center. The largest 
crystal measured i 4 - inches in height and the same in thickness. 
Almost all the crystals contained irregular hollow spaces from rihr 
to A, inch (1 to 10 millimeters) across. In habit the crystals close- 
ly resemble those from Cheyenne Mountain, Col. Some of these 
crystals are equal in point of quality to any found in Colorado, 
although they are not as large. At Stoneham, Me., green and 
red damourite, altered from topaz, has been cut into different odd 
forms and charms by the local collectors. 3 


belongs to the rhombohedral system, and occurs in prisms, 
the sides of which are generally striated and channeled. 1 he 
hardness of the transparent variety is 7-5, and its specific gravity 
ranges from 3-0 to 3*25, Its composition is very complex, as is 
showm in the table of analysis. 

The question of color is an interesting one, particularly 
when the varying colors of the lithia tourmaline are concerned. 
The color of the iron and magnesian varieties depends on the 
amount of iron present, and passes from the colorless specimens 

1 See Topaz and Associated Minerals from Stoneham, Oxford County, Me, Am* J, Sci. Ill-* 
VoL 25, p, 161, Feb., 1SS3 ; and Vol. 27, p. 212, March, 18S4* 

^ Am. J. Sci IIL, Vol. 36, p, 222, Sept, 1 SSS. 

5 Am. J. Sci. III., Vol, 29, p. 27S, May, 1SS5. 




from DeKalb through all the shades of brown to the black 
variety found in Pierrepont. On the other hand, the lithia 
tourmaline, containing more or less manganese, gives us the red, 
green, blue, and colorless varieties. The shades of color do not 
appear to depend on the absolute amount of manganese present, 
but rather on the ratios existing between that element and iron. 
When the ratio of manganese is to iron as one is to one, there is 
produced the colorless, pink, or very pale green tourmaline. An 
excess of manganese produces the red varieties, while if the iron 
be in excess, the result is various shades of green and blue. The 
finest green and red specimens are found in the province of 
Minas Geraes, Brazil, the deep red rubellite in Siberia, the 
yellow and brown in Ceylon, and Carinthia, Austria, and pink on 
the island of Elba. The hardness of the flawless variety is about 
7*5, and the specific gravity varies from 3 - o to 3'25- It is very 
electric. The colorless variety is called achroite, the red, rubel- 
lite, the blue, indicolite, the green, Brazilian emerald, and the 
black, schorl. 

Tourmaline is one of the most dichroitic of all gems. When 
a crystal is viewed through the side, it is transparent green, but 
when viewed through the end of the prism, it is either opaque or 
yellow-green. For instance, in tourmaline from Paris, Me., if 
two gems are taken from a green crystal, one with the top cut 
from the side of the prism and the other from the pyramid side, 
one will be bright green and the other yellow-green. It has 
frequently happened with specimens from Brazil that one would 
be green and the other opaque. Specimens that rival any found 
in the world have been obtained in Maine. The localities that 
have furnished fine ones are Mount Mica, near Paris, Auburn, 
Hebron, Norway, Mount Black, in Andover, Rumford, and Stan- 
dish, I n the two latter places, however, they do not count as gems. 
The famous tourmaline locality at Paris, Me., is situated on Mount 
Mica, a spur of Streaked Mountain, about one mile east of Paris 
Court House. It was discovered in 1820 by Elijah L. Hamlin 
and Ezekiel Holmes, while they were on a mineralogical and 
geological trip. Mr. Hamlin found a fragment of a transparent 
crystal lying loose upon some earth which still clung to the foot 
of a fallen tree, and procured about thirty beautiful crystals. 


These were entrusted to Governor Lincoln of Maine to take 
to New Haven, and all but one were, at this time, lost. It is 
believed that these tourmalines are at present in the Imperial 
Mineralogical Cabinet at Vienna, since there were some fine 
specimens of tourmalines purchased with the collection of the 
well-known antiquarian, Vandervull, in 1830. These were recog- 
nized as being from Paris, Me., by Baron Lederer, the Austrian 
Consul in New York City, who was familiar with the crystals, 
having made collections in that locality. In 1825, Prof. Charles 
U. Shepard visited the locality, and after considerable work 
obtained some of the best crystals ever found, which are now in 
the Shepard Collection at Amherst College, having escaped the 
disastrous fire of 1882. Prof. John W. Webster, of Harvard 
College, found a large red crystal and some beautiful grass-green 
ones. In 1865 the locality was supposed to be exhausted, but 
excavations which have been made there since, from time to 
time, through the perseverance of Dr. Augustus C. Hamlin, have 
brought to light many fine crystals. In 1881 the Mount Mica 
Tin and Mica Company began operations, with Doctor Hamlin 
as president, and work has been carried on at intervals since. 
Some hundreds of tourmalines are the result of this mining, 
among them a blue indicolite crystal 9 inches long, somewhat 
shattered by blasting, (See Colored Plate No. 4,) It is light- 
blue at one end, shading gradually into dark-blue and deep blue- 
black. This would have been the finest crystal known, and 
would have furnished several hundred carats of fine stones, had 
it not been so broken. It is now In the State Museum at 
Albany, N. Y. The next summer’s work brought to light 
material that cut into two of the finest gems, of a grass-green 
hue, weighing about 30 carats, which surpass in beauty anything 
hitherto found. (See Colored Plate No. 4.) The gems and 
crystals obtained by this company have been valued at over 
$5,000, and the value of all that have been taken from this 
locality, and sold at the highest rate asked for them as native 
gems, probably amounts to $50,000. The crystals of green 
tourmaline, inclosing red crystals of rubellite, found at Mount 
Mica, when properly cut across the prism form objects of 
great beauty. The centers have often furnished magnificent 


A Blue tourmaline [indicolite], Mount Mica, Paris, Maine. 
[New York State Cabinet,] 

B White tourmaline [achroite], De Kalb, St, Lawrence 
County, New York, 

C White tourmaline, [achroite], Mount Mica, Paris, Maine. 

D Red tourmaline [rubellite], Mount Mica, Paris, Maine* 

E Green tourmaline. Mount Mica, Paris, Maine, 

F Crystal of tourmaline, Mount Mica, Paris, Maine. [Hamlin 

G Section of a crystal of tourmaline from Mount Mica, Paris, 
Maine, showing a red and white center with green 

H Section of a crystal of tourmaline from Mount Mica, Paris, 
Maine, showing dark blue and pink center with white 


transparent gems, scarcely distinguishable by the eye from the 
true ruby. It would be difficult to find a more wonderful mineral 
than that composing these crystals from Paris, which are white at 
the termination, then almost emerald-green, light green, pink, 
then colorless as water, and when broken are dark blue or red 
in the center, this center in turn being coated white, pink, and 

The green tourmaline, which has been called Brazilian 
emerald, is used by the Brazilian clergy as their emblem. Fine 
tourmalines have a greater brilliancy than the emerald when 
seen by artificial light, but have not the rich deep light of the 
latter. Some of the finest cut rubellites and green tourmalines 
are in the possession of members of the family of Professor 
Shepard. One of the finest known, which is i inch long, f 
inch broad, and i inch thick, was described by Professor 
Shepard as of a chrysolite green, with a blue tinge, but less 
yellow and more green than chrysolite. This, on comparison, 
he found to be finer than any of the gems in the Hope Collec- 
tion, that was sold at auction in 1881. It now belongs to his 
daughter, Mrs, James, wife of Judge James, of Washington. (See 
Plate No. 4,) One fine achroite two-thirds this size, and one 
remarkable rubellite, the size of the largest tourmaline, are in 
the possession of L. E. DeForest of New Haven, Conn. (See 
Colored Plate No. 4.) The Hamlin cabinet, 1 the first crystal 
of which was found in 1820, contains many fine rubellites (red 
tourmalines), indicolites (blue tourmalines), and achroites (white 
tourmalines), as well as good examples of pink, yellow, green, 
and other colors, all from Paris, Me. This is the best tourmaline 
collection in the world, and would furnish full suites for a 
dozen cabinets. The crystals used by Dr. Hamlin to illustrate 
his treatise on the tourmaline are in this cabinet, as well as many 
other fine stones of nearly every known shade of the gem, in- 
cluding a wonderful dark gem of 28 carats (see Colored Plate 
No. 4), 1 inchin diameter, and an achroite of 23 carats. One, the 
finest tourmaline of this collection, is shown as it now is. (See 
Colored Plate No. 4.) In the Peabody Museum at New Haven 
are some crystals collected by Dr. Sanborn Tenney, of Williams 

1 See The Tourmaline, by Dr* Augustus C, Hamlin, Bost6n T 1873* 


College, A light-green crystal, about 2 inches long, has at 
one end a transparent, kernel-like nodule that would afford a 
gem of over 10 carats’ weight. The center of a section of green 
and red tourmaline would cut one of the finest magenta-colored 
rubellites ever seen. The next important tourmaline locality in 
Maine is Mount Apatite, in Auburn, Androscoggin County. 
It was first Worked in 1882, and since then fully 1,500 crystals 
have been found. They were colorless, light-pink, light-blue, 
bluish-pink, and light-golden, the sections showing the character- 
istic variety of color, such as blue and pink, green and pink, 
etc., when viewed through the end of the crystal. Some of 
the faintly-colored crystals afforded gems that were considerably 
darker after the cutting, but no gems over 6 or 8 carats were 
obtained here. Further working in 1883 or 1884 brought 
darker material to light, especially the green colors, some of 
which equal those found at Mount Mica. Rude black crystals 
8 inches in diameter and 12 feet long (at times enclosing quartz- 
ite) were observed here. This, like the Mount Mica locality, 
gives promise of fine gems for some time to come. The collec- 
tion in the United States National Museum contains a i-carat 
blue indicolite, two lavender-colored stones of 1 carat each, a 
light emerald-green stone of 1- carat, as handsome as an emerald 
viewed by artificial light, and also a suite of several dozen loose 
crystals of various colors. The tourmaline locality of Rumford 
is situated in the northeast part of the town, in Oxford County, 
Me., on the northwest slope of Mount Black, and is about 1,500 feet 
above sea-level. The vein, which has been covered for a length 
of about 250 feet, has been found to be quite irregular, varying 
from 30 to 100 feet in width, and dips northeast and southwest 
at an angle of about 6o°. The rock is a coarse granite with mica 
schist overlying. The Mount Mica Company did some work 
here, and since they stopped E. M. Bailey has worked the 
solid ledge to a depth of from 3 to 10 feet. No gems have been 
found, though some interesting mineralogical specimens have 
been secured, among them specimens of lepidolite, which is 
found here of finer grain than that from any other Maine locality. 
One form is in scales not over T fa inch (1 millimeter) across, 
quite compact, and in large masses of a beautiful lilac color, closely 



resembling the mineral from Altenberg, Saxony. A character- 
istic form is of a light lavender color, very compact, so that it 
could be used for ornamental purposes, and in this the scales are 
not more than rsf to i inch (i to 25 millimeters) in width. 
The mass is penetrated in every direction by crystals or rubel- 
lites, which are of the light or dark shade of red. This associa- 
tion is similar to that from Rozena in Moravia. 

Rubellite, indicolite, and the green tourmalines are the 
common varieties at this locality. AH exhibit a tendency to 
radiate, assuming this form when they occur side by side in one 
radiation. Crystals of green, red, and blue tourmaline have 
been found at Standish, which, although very good as crystals, 
are not of gem quality. Little work has been done in this 
locality, which may improve by development. The specimens at 
Bates College, Lewiston, Me., labelled “ Baldwin,” are supposed 
to have been found here. Bluish and brownish-green tourmaline 
is found in fine crystals, penetrating damourite and diaspore, in 
Newlin Township, but none of them transparent enough for gem 
purposes. A small, well-terminated, transparent green tourmaline 
was found by J. C. Mills, on Silver Creek, Burke County, N. C., 
also a black crystal 4 inches long, inclosed in a green beryl 
crystal. William Irelan, Jr., State Mineralogist, reports that fine 
crystals of translucent rubellite, but not of gem value, are found 
in California. Fine crystals of indicolite and green tourmaline 
are found with the cleavelandite feldspar at Chesterfield, Mass., 
but none transparent enough to furnish gems. They are inter- 
esting from the fact that the green crystals often inclose crystals 
of rubellite, and sometimes both red and white tourmaline. 
These afford very interesting specimens when cut in sections 
across the prism. St. Lawrence County, N. Y., has given to 
mineral cabinets the greatest number and the finest examples of 
doubly terminated crystals of black and brown tourmaline, both 
kinds occurring in a granular limestone, from which they can 
readily be broken out, or the limestone removed by acid. The 
result is that many thousands of specimens from Pierrepont, of 
the most highly polished black, doubly terminated crystals, 
although without value as gems, grace the mineral cabinets of the 
world. Nor have the products of any locality ever excelled in 



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beauty or size the wonderful crystals of brown tourmaline from 
Gouverneur, N. Y. Many thousands of perfect crystals, measur- 
ing from i inch to 6 inches in length, doubly terminated, rich in 
modifications, but rarely affording a gem over i carat, have been 
taken from this locality. One of the finest is in the Root 
Collection, at Hamilton College; many fine ones are in the 
Peabody Museum, New Haven, Conn. ; but the best series of 
both varieties is in the cabinet of Clarence S. Bement, in 
Philadelphia. At Richville, near De Kalb, N. Y., achroites 
(white tourmalines) have been found in fine crystals. The 
choicest of these, in the cabinet of Mr. Bement, is over i inch 
in length, and would cut into a gem weighing over 10 carats. 
Crystals of brown tourmaline were obtained by Charles E. Beecher, 
at Newcomb, Essex County, N. Y. Portions of these crystals 
were very free from flaws, and material enough was found 
to cut hundreds of gems weighing from i to io carats. In 
the eupyrchroite locality, near Crawford, N. Y., William 
P. Blake obtained beautiful transparent brown and light-brown 
tourmaline in crystals large enough to cut gems of several 
carats' weight. A large number of green tourmalines, some 
quite thick and several inches in length, have been obtained 
at Franklin Furnace, Essex County, N. J., but, although they 
are an important addition to our mineralogical collections, and 
the outer parts of some of the crystals are of a rich, almost 
chrome green, not a single crystal has been found that would 
cut a transparent gem of even i carat. Professor Genth men- 
tions beautiful light-yellow, brownish-yellow, and at times white 
crystals of tourmaline, at Bailey’s limestone quarry', East Marl- 
borough, Pa. ; yellow crystals at Logan’s limestone quarry, 
West Marlborough ; brown and light-yellow, which are at times 
transparent, at John Niven’s limestone quarry, New Garden 
Township ; and green tourmaline in talc near Rock Spring, 
Centre County. Specimens of black tourmaline as fine as are 
ever obtained, are found near Leiperville, Delaware County, in 
well terminated crystals, 5 inches in length and i| inches thick ; 
also at Marple Township, terminated with two low rhombohedra. 


Garnet Group — Essonite, Spessartire, Almandite, Pyrope, Quvarovite, Schorlomite* 

T HE garnet represents a group of minerals which, al- 
though chemically quite different, crystallize in the 
isometric system. The following are the varieties that 
have been used as gems. 

Essonite, which has been confused with zircon, the only 
true hyacinth, is still called hyacinth by the jeweler. It has a 
hardness of 7 and its specific gravity is 3 '68. Grossularite is the 
pale-green or yellowish variety of essonite. 

Almandine garnets vary in color from violet or purple through 
brownish-red to deep red. The scarlet and the crimson varieties, 
when cut en cabochon, are called carbuncles. The finest alman- 
dines are from Siriam, India. Their hardness is 7*5 and specific 
gravity, 4-1 to 4-3. 

Pyrope, or blood-red garnet, is commonly known from its 
use in cheap Bohemian jewelry and is found extensively at a 
number of places in Bohemia, and also of fine quality at the 
Kimberley Mines in South Africa. Its hardness is 7*5 and its 
specific gravity 37 to 3 '8. 

Ouvarovite is of a brilliant emerald-green color and is found 
at Bissersk, in Siberia, but is rarely large enough to furnish 
gem stones. Its hardness is nearly 8 and specific gravity 3 ‘45. 

Demantoid is a variety of green garnet called Bobrowsaka 
garnet or Uralian emerald, and is found near Poldnewaja, district 



of Syssersk, in the Ural Mountains, in nodules varying from Ar to 
\ an inch across. File color ranges from yellowish-green or 
brownish-green to almost yellow emerald-green. The refractive 
power of the garnet on light is so great that it shows a remark- 
able amount of “ fire ’’ by artificial light. Its hardness is only 
about 5 and specific gravity is 3 '85. It has not been found in the 
United States. 

Essonite, cinnamon garnet, cinnamon-stone, or the hyacinth 
of the jeweler, has been found of good quality in Oxford County, 
Me. Very fine essonites, red and yellow, were formerly found at 
Phippsburgh, Me., and at Warren, N. H. Beautiful essonite 
crystals, inch in diameter, entirely transparent and quite flat, 
have been found between plates of mica at Avondale Quarry, 
Pa., and near Bakersville, N. C. Some of these would cut 
into fine gems over a carat in weight. In 1SS2 grossularite was 
found in perfect, yellow-green, opaque crystals, nearly 1 inch 
across, in the GilaCanon, Ariz. The finest in the United States 
are the rich, dark, oily-green dodecahedral crystals, i inch in 
diameter, from the Tilly Foster Mine, Brewster, N. Y. William 
P. Blake mentions a green grossularite found in copper ore near 
Petaluma, Sonoma County, Cal. In the cabinet of Dr. Isaac 
Lea are transparent crystals of a dark oily-green grossularite, 
from 1 to 5 millimeters long, that were found at the Good Hope 
Mine, California. Some fair crystals of a rich, green color, from 
1 to 5 millimeters in diameter, were found at Hebron and West 
Minot, Me. At none of these localities, however, was the min- 
eral of gem value. At Amelia Court House, Va., a large 
quantity of spessartite garnet, which is a variety of essonite in 
which part of the alumina is replaced by manganous oxide, has 
been found in masses several inches across, and of a dark brown, 
dark red, or honey-yellow color. These are the finest specimens 
of this variety of garnet ever found, and have been cut into gems 
from 1 carat to 100 carats in weight, almost rivaling the essonites 
from Ceylon. Some of the most beautiful natural gems are the 
microscopic yellow garnets, evidently spessartite, found in clean- 
ing out a small cavity at this place. The beautiful little red 
spessartites found in the rhyolite cavities with topaz, at Chalk 
Mountain, Nathrop, Chaffee County, Col., and in Ruby Valley, 



Elko County, Nev., are perfect gems, so splendent are they, but 
they are generally too small or too dark in color for jewelry. 

The finest pyrope garnets in the United States are found in 
New Mexico, Arizona, and southern Colorado, where they are 
often called rubies. In New Mexico they are to be found, it is 
believed, only on the Navajo Reservation, where the Indians col- 
lect them in large quantities from ant-hills and scorpion-hills, in 
the sand, and also, it is believed, pound them out of the rock. 
They are found associated with olivine and chrome pyroxene, and 
in northeastern Arizona they arc found in loose sand, having prob- 
ably been brought by the action of water from a point fifty miles 
to the north, where they are supposed to occur in a peridotite rock, 
from which it is said the Indians pound them out with stones. In 
the western part of Arizona, on the same parallel with Fort Defi- 
ance, on both sides of the Colorado River, garnets have been 
observed associated with grains of peridot, a chrome pyroxene, 
and a hyaline chalcedony. They are also found on the ant-hills 
and near the excavations made by scorpions, having been taken 
therefrom by the busy occupants as obstructions to the erection of 
their galleries and chambers. They are collected by soldiers and 
Indians, and sold to the Indian traders, who send them to the large 
cities in lots of from an ounce upward. The garnets have never 
been found in place by any of the geologists or any surveyor of 
the United States Geological Survey, and it is suggested that they 
are derived from some lower cretaceous sandstone ; but it is very 
evident, from the associated minerals, that they have weathered 
out of a peridotitic rock. They are from $ to ^ inch in diame- 
ter, rarely over and but a few have been seen that measure 
3- inch across. In form they are generally quite round and pitted, 
often, however, with fractured edges, as if they had been rolled. 
They average well for quality ; one-half are worth cutting, and 
one-quarter will furnish good stones, but fine ones are quite rare. 
An interesting fact in connection with these garnets is that a large 
proportion of them contain a network of fine acicular crystals, 
evidently rutile from their arrangement, as has been suggested 
by Babinet and Dr. Isaac Lea. 1 Occasionally these grains or 
pebbles of garnet break in two with a conchoidal fracture, reveal- 

1 Proc. Acad. Nat, Sri,, Phil., VoL 21, p* 119, May* 1S69. 


ing in the center a small grain or kernel of transparent quart:,. 
These garnets are found in a large variety of tints of red, claret, 
almandine, and even yellow essonite-colored stones. They are 
often believed by the finders to be spinels or rubies, and have 
been sold as Arizona or Colorado rubies. 

Although the garnets found in washing and mining dia- 
monds at the Cape of Good Hope, the so-called “Cape Rubies,” 
are of larger size than those found in Arizona and New Mexico, 
and perhaps equal to them in color by daylight, the latter are 
much superior by artificial light, only the clear, blood-red hue be- 
ing visible, while in the “ Cape Rubies” the dark color remains 
unchanged. They are extensively used as gems, the annual sales 
amounting to about $5,000 worth of cut stones. A few remark- 
ably fine ones have brought $50 each, though stones equally good 
have frequently sold for much less. Fine stones of 1 carat sell 
at from $1 to $3 each, the exceptional ones rarely for $5. 
They seldom exceed 3 carats in size. Pyrope garnet of good 
color, that has furnished gems, has been found in the sands of 
the gold-washings of Burke, McDowell, and Alexander Counties, 
N. C. In the peridote rock of Elliott County, Ky., are found 
deep ruby-red grains of pyrope garnet, locally regarded as 
rubies, having a specific gravity of 3*673, and varying in size 
from tV to i inch in diameter. They are especially abundant 
along the line of the peridote trap-dykes in the soil resulting 
from the disintegration of the rock, and would cut into gems 
almost as beautiful as those from Arizona. Garnets are found 
in many localities in California ; at Roger’s Mine, in the eastern 
part of El Dorado County, they are associated with specular 
iron, calcite, and iron and copper pyrites ; in the Coosa district, 
Inyo County, they are found in large, semi-crystalline masses, of 
a light-yellow color, some specimens of which were taken to San 
Francisco under the impression that they contained tin. Three 
miles from Pilot Hill, El Dorado County, garnet rock is found in 
blocks several feet thick. They also occur in Plumas, Mono, 
Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties, Cal. In Burke, 
Caldwell, and Catawba Counties, N. C., are found large dode- 
cahedral and trapezohedral almandite garnets, coated externally 
with a brown crust of limonite, the result of superficial altera- 



tion, but usually showing a bright and very compact interior 
when broken. They are sometimes as fine in color as the 
Bohemian garnets, and should find a ready use for watch jewels 
and other like purposes. Some of the crystals which have been 
found, weighing 20 pounds each, although not fine enough for 
gems, might be cut Into dishes or cups measuring from 3 to 6 
inches across. A very large quantity of these garnets has been 
found about eight miles southeast of Morgantown, and also near 
Warlick, in Burke County, N. C., and in Rabun County, Ga. 
Many of them are transparent, varying in color from the purple 
almandine to pyrope red. Tons of these have been crushed to 
make “ emery ” and the sand-paper called garnet paper. The 
peculiar play of color observed in the North Carolina garnets is 
often due to the inclusions. In those secured in Rabun County, 
Ga., at times nearly one-quarter of the entire specimen is taken up 
by fluid cavities containing acicular crystals of rutile. Quanti- 
ties of fine purple almandine garnets, which are found in the 
gravel of the placer mines near Lewiston, Idaho, in rolled and 
pitted grains from -fa to 1 inch across, would cut into good gems 
or jewels for watches. Hoffmann mentions good small crystals 
from Black Cafion, Colorado River, Nev, Fine small almandine 
garnets are also found in the trachyte of White Pine County, 
Nev. At Acworth, Grafton, and Hanover, N. H., garnets of 
gem value have often been found. In Essex County, N. Y., 
many tons of common garnets are mined annually to be ground 
into abrasive materials. Many small pieces would furnish clear 
garnets, and occasionally of fine color. The feldspar quarry at 
Avondale, Pa., has furnished some of the finest known crystals 
of common garnet ; one of them, perhaps the finest specimen of 
this mineral in crystal form, measuring 2 £ inches across, 
imbedded in a mass of quartzite, is of a rich purplish-red color, 
with high natural polish and remarkably sharp angles. It is in 
the cabinet of Mr. Bement. At Ruby Mountain, three miles from 
Salida, Chaffee County, Col., is a remarkable deposit of alman- 
dite-garnet crystals in a bed of green chlorite. These crystals 
vary in weight from x ounce to 3 or 4 pounds each, and 
occasionally 10 or 12 pounds. Two very perfect crystals, weigh- 
ing respectively 14 and 14^ pounds, were obtained from 






this locality. They were simple dodecahedrons in form, and 
were altered to chlorite superficially to the depth of Ar of an 
inch. Inside they are very compact, and often show two or 
three distinct zones of color, but are not transparent, hence 
not of gem value. From the fact that they occur in so soft a 
matrix, the crystals literally fall out of it when it is broken, and 
hence are generally perfect At least 5 tons of these crystals 
have been sold to collectors and tourists for cabinets, for use as 
paper-weights and ornaments. They are compact enough to 
make them valuable for watch jewelry or for ornamental dishes. 
At Russell, Mass., a vein of garnet, very dark in color, and called 
there black garnet (not melonite), was opened about 1885, and 
many fine crystals were obtained and exchanged for minerals, 
or sold as specimens, to the value of over $1,000. The 
colophonite from Hillsborough, N. Y,, although of a beautifully 
rich, iridescent color, has never been utilized, except as a substi- 
tute for emery, owing to the small size of the grains and the 
friability of the large masses. At Franklin, Sussex County, 
N. J., immense crystals of the different varieties, melonite, 
polyadelphite, colophonite, etc., have been found, but rarely in 
crystals transparent enough to afford a gem. The iron-alumina 
garnet is found in Concord Township, at Deshong’s Quarry, 
Shaw & Ezra’s Quarry, and at Upland, near Chester ; also in 
Darby, Acton, Low Providence, Haverford, and Radnor Town- 
ships, Pa. A dark-red variety, similar to pyrope in color, is 
found in the bed of Darby Creek, near the Lazaretto, in 
Delaware County. Some peculiar garnets of a deep blood-red 
color have been mistaken for pyrope. Many garnets from both 
Chester and Delaware Counties have been cut, and some of 
them have proved of fine quality and rich color. The Alaska 
garnets, which are so well known for their remarkably perfect 
crystals, forming such a beautiful contrast to their dark-gray 
matrix, occur in great quantities near the mouth of the Stikeen 
River, in the vicinity of Fort Wrangel, Alaska. They are found 
about one mile from the river in a bed of mica schist, and after 
being quarried out, are transported on the backs of men to the 
river, and thence by boat to Fort Wrangel. As groups of 
crystals, they are the finest that have been found anywhere, and 







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many thousands of specimens have been brought from Alaska in 
the past ten years. Some time ago the United States man-of- 
war *' * Corwin 11 visited the place, and brought away specimens, 
which are now in the United States National Museum, 

The beautiful and rare species, known as ouvarovite or 
chrome garnet, was first described as occurring in the United 
States by Prof. Charles U, Shepard, who found it in minute, 
nearly transparent, emerald-green crystals, T V inch in diameter, at 
Wood's chrome mine, Lancaster County, Pa. Ouvarovite is 
found in large quantities at Orford, Canada, adjoining Newport, 
Vt, on Lake Memphremagog, sometimes in masses measuring 
over i foot across- The crystals, however, are very small, rarely 
over tV inch in diameter, though usually of good color. 
The white garnet of that locality, described by Dn T. S terry 
Hunt, although not in crystals, is identical with the fine crystals 
found at Wakefield, Canada, and has been cut into gems. The 
Wakefield ouvarovite is much finer than the Orford variety. 
It has been described by Waldemar Lindgren as occurring in 
small crystals associated with a chromifcrous chlorite related to 
kotscheubeite, from Green Valley on the American River in Cali- 
fornia. The crystals are of very fine color, but not transparent 
enough for gems, 1 Schorlomite, which has recently been referred 
to the garnet group, is really a titan ifero us garnet, and occurs at 
Magnet Cove, Ark. It is generally penetrated by white crystals 
of apatite, but at times it is free from all foreign matters, and 
very compact, breaking with a bright conchoidal fracture. On 
cutting it yields a dead black stone, having a lustre not quite as 
metallic as that of rutile, but rather between it and black onyx. 
As it occurs in sufficient quantity, it is suggested as a mineral 
that will afford a new and fine mourning gem. Stones can be 
cut of any size up to perhaps about 20 carats, as the mineral is 
found of sufficient size. The first stone cut was over 6 carats in 
weight Prof. George A. Koenig, of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, describes a titaniferous garnet from southwestern Colorado, 
and also gives an analysis of so-called schorlomite from Magnet 
Cove, Ark., which he finds to be titaniferous garnet. * 

1 See Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. XL, Vol. I, Dec., 18S7. 

2 Proc. Acad, Nat. Sci., Phil., 18 86, p. 355. 


Beryl (Emerald Aquamarine), Chrysoberyl, Phenacite, and, 

T HE emerald and aquamarine are mineralogically in- 
cluded in the species of beryl. Their difference in 
color is due to slight traces of other compounds. They 
crystallize in the rhombohedral system, almost always in 
six-sided prisms. The specific gravity of the transparent beryl is 
very nearly 27, the hardness of the aquamarine being 8 and the 
emerald variety about 7 ‘8. The emeralds from Muso are less 
hard than the aquamarine from Siberia. They are also found in 
Takowaja, Siberia, and at Zabara, near the Red Sea, in upper 
Egypt, and in Habachthal, Tyrol. This latter locality evidently 
furnished some of the material used in ancient Rome. The finest 
emeralds are found in isolated crystals and in geodes with calcite 
quartz, iron pyrites, and parisite, and in a clay slate rock contain- 
ing fossiliferous limestone concretions, at the Muso Mine, near 
Santa Fe de Bogota, New Grenada. Fine blue and green beryls 
are found in Brazil, Hindoostan, Ceylon, and in the mica schist of 
the right bank of the Takowaja River, Ekatharinenburg, Siberia. 
The emerald variety of beryl is among the most remarkable of 
American gem minerals. In Alexander County, N. C., emeralds, 
or beryls suggesting them, have been found at five different points, 
with quartz, rutile (some of the finest ever found), dolomite, mus- 
covite, garnet, apatite, pyrite, etc., all in fine crystals. One of 
these localities, Stony Point, is about thirty-five miles southeast 




of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and sixteen miles northeast of 
Statesville, N. C. The surface of the country is rolling, the alti- 
tude being about 1,000 feet above sea level. The soil, which is 
not very productive, is generally a red, gravelly clay, resulting 
from the decomposition of the gneissoid rock, and under these 
circumstances it is easy to find the sources of minerals discovered 
on the surface. Prof. Washington C, Kerr’s theory of the 
“frost-drift” is strongly confirmed by the conditions that 
prevail throughotit this region. The unaltered rock was found 
at Stony Point at a depth of 26 feet and is unusually 
hard, especially the walls of the gem-bearing pockets. A 
corporation called the Emerald and Hiddenite Mining Company 
was organized to work the property at Stony Point, and has 
prosecuted the search for gems irregularly, for periods varying 
from one week to eight months of each year. The entire 
output, including specimens and gems, has amounted to about 
$15,000. The history of the discovery of the deposit and its 
subsequent development is best told in the words of William E. 
Hidden, the Superintendent. Recounting the discovery of 
the mine, he says: 1 “Sixteen years ago the site of the mine 
now being worked was covered with a dense primitive forest. 
Less than ten years ago (1871), this county was mineralogically 
a blank ; nothing was known to exist here having any special 
value or interest. Whatever we know of it to-day is due directly 
or indirectly to the earnest field work done here in the past 
seven years by J. A. D. Stephenson, a native of the county, 
now a well-to-do and respected merchant of Statesville, N. C. 
Under a promise of reward for success, he engaged the farmers 
for miles around to search carefully over the soil for minerals, 
Indian relics, etc., and for several years he enjoyed surprising 
success in thus gathering specimens. . . . The amount and vari- 
ety of the material gathered in this way was simply astonishing, 
and his sanguine expectations were more than realized. To be 
brief and to the point I will state that from a few localities in the 
County Mr. Stephenson would occasionally procure crystals of 
beryl of the ordinary kind, but now and then a semi-transparent 
prism of beryl, having a decided grass-green tint, would be brought 

1 The Discovery of Emeralds in North Carolina, by W* E, Hidden. Privately printed, 8vo t 
4 p., and also Trans, N. Y, Acad, Sci., 1882, p. 101-105. 


A Lithia emerald, Stony Point, Alexander County, North 

B Golden colored beryl, Litchfield County, Connecticut. 

C Crystal of aquamarine, Mount Antero, Chaffee County, 

D Azurite and Malachite in concentric bands, Morenci, Arizona. 

[American Museum of Natural History, New York 

E Crystal of emerald, Stony Point, Alexander County, North 
Carolina, [Bement Collection,] 

F Amazon stone [microcline], Pike's Peak, Colorado, One-fifth 
natural size, [New York State Cabinet.] 

G Cut aquamarine, Stoneham, Oxford County, Maine. [Dexter 

H Crystal of emerald, Stony Point, Alexander County, North 
Carolina. [Bement Collection,] 

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to him. These the farmers named ‘ green rocks or bolts,’ and 
became the principal object of the people’s searchings. Mr. 
Stephenson had told them that a dark-green beryl would be val- 
uable if clear and perfect, would in fact be the emerald, and for 
them to search more carefully than ever to find one. Surely, he 
had informed the people aright, and had given them a rara avis 
to look for. It is sufficient to say that within a period of about 
six years there was found on three plantations in this county, 
loose in the soil, a number, say ten, of veritable emeralds, none 
of which, however, were dark-colored or transparent enough for 
use as gems. All of these specimens went into Mr. Stephen- 
son’s collection, with the single exception of one very choice 
crystal obtained at that locality by the late John T. Humphreys, 
which crystal is now in the New York State Museum at Albany, 
after first being in the collection of the late Doctor Eddy of 
Providence.” The original find consisted of nine crystals, one 
of which was inches in length (see Colored Plate No. 5), and 
weighed 9 ounces ; one was 5 inches ; others were over 3 inches in 
length. For two months during the summer of 1885, mining was 
carried on with flattering success. In the soil overlying the rock, 
nine crystals of emerald were found, all doubly terminated and 
measuring from 1 inch to f- inch (25 to 77 millimeters) in 
width. This latter crystal is very perfect as a specimen ; 
it is of a fine light-green color, is doubly terminated, and weighs 
8} ounces, or only { ounce less than the famous Duke of Dev- 
onshire emerald crystal. Another crystal, doubly terminated, 
and measuring 2 % inches (63 millimeters) by inch (23 milli- 
meters) is filled with large rhombohedral cavities, formerly con- 
taining dolomite. As mineral specimens, these crystals are quite 
unique. The only gem which has been cut from this find was 
from a crystal found in a pocket at a depth of over 43 feet. In 
color it is a pleasing light green and weighs 4-ff carats. In 1887, 
at the depth of about 70 feet, another crystal that was cut into a 
gem of 5 carats was found. Both are too light in color to rank 
as fine gems. The two largest emeralds, and a series of the smal- 
ler ones, are in the cabinet of Clarence S. Bement. Some fine 
ones are in the British Museum mineral cabinet. The fine 
emerald color characteristic of many of the crystals is confined to 

9 ° 


the border froTU tw to T lhr inches in thickness around the edge 
and near the termination of the crystals. 1 If this edge were 
thicker, fine gems could be cut from it. The finding of fine 
beryls and emeralds of pale color, collected by Mr. Stephenson, 
one mile southwest of the Stony Point deposit and a short 
distance from the place where the same mineral was found by 
Mr. Smeaton, of New York, shows that the deposit is evidently 
not accidental, and that there is encouragement for future work- 
ing in this new locality. 

Some beautiful beryls were found at Haddam, Conn., over 
fifty years ago, the largest of which was 2 inches in length and 
1 inch in diameter. They were remarkable from the fact that part 
of the crystal was of a transparent green color and free from 
flaws, while below a certain line of demarcation the whole was 
white and opaque, as if it were a flocculent precipitate. Fine 
specimens from this locality are in the Peabody Museum of Yale 
University, in New Haven, Conn., the William S. Vaux Collec- 
tion, at the Academy of Natural Sciences, in Philadelphia, Pa., and 
the Bement Collection in the same city. The largest beryls of 
the world are found at Grafton and Acworth, N. H. From the 
former locality a crystal 6j feet long was quarried and another 
weighing over tons. One obtained from the Acworth Quar- 
ries was 4 feet long and 2 \ feet in diameter. One of the best 
known is on exhibition in the rooms of the Boston Society of 
Natural History. (See Illustration.) It is a hexagonal prism, 
3^ feet long by 3 feet wide, and weighs several tons. There is 
also an immense beryl in the United States National Museum, 
that weighs over 600 pounds. These large crystals are of a pale- 
green color. Some very large crystals still remain in the quar- 
ries, where they can be seen, but their extraction is a matter of 
considerable expense, as it involves the moving of a great deal 
of rock, and, moreover, it is very difficult to get them out whole, 
since the material of which beryls are composed is very brittle and 
filled with rifts, and a slight jar is sufficient to break them when 
they are not well supported; large crystals, consequently, have 
always been securely hooped before any attempt was made to move 
them. Such specimens rarely have transparent spots so large as to 

1 Am. J. Sci. III., Vol. 33, p. 505, June, 18S7. 

allow the cutting of even a small gem. The beryls from Monroe, 
Conn., often present interrupted curvatures as shown in Fig. 2, 
During the last twenty years many beryls, approaching those from 
New Hampshire in magnitude, have been found in other localites, 
chiefly in Oxford County, Me., in North Carolina, and in Amelia 
County, Va., all of which have furnished crystals from 2 to 4 feet 
in length and 1 foot or more in diameter. Only occasionally 
small spaces are clear enough to afford gems. Mr. Stephenson 
called the attention of the writer to a crystal of dark-green beryl, 
weighing 25*4 ounces, part of which would furnish gems of some 
size, that was found in January, 1888, near Russell Gap Road, 
Alexander County, N. C., by a farmer plowing. This locality is 
about ten miles from the Alexander County Emerald Mine, and 
is the largest beryl deposit affording gems that has been found in 
North Carolina. It is noteworthy that the highly modified 
beryls of this region occur rarely, and only 
when associated with spodumene or albite, 
and also that the white or pale-greenish 
beryls are found with the deepest green 
spodumene. It has before been noted that 
the quartz and beryl of Alexander County 
are more highly modified when implanted 
on the feldspathic layers of the walls of the pockets. Two 
emerald beryls, which were found in 1881, at a depth of 34 feet, 
were in a little pocket, the walls of which were almost covered 
with crystals of albite twinned parallel to the base. Only four 
emeralds were found, averaging about 1 centimeter in the three 
dimensions. The pocket was free from all decomposition what- 
ever. The crystals were of good color, transparent, and had 
their commoner planes well polished, but they differed to some 
extent in habit. 1 Blue beryl in fine crystals that afforded 
fair gems was reported by William E. Hidden from Mitchell 
County, near the Yancey County line, N. C. In the State 
cabinet in Albany, N. Y., is a curious beryl found by S. C. 
Hatch at Auburn, Me. It is of imperfect structure and broken 
diagonally across, showing the structure to advantage. (See 
Fig. 2.) It is 8| inches, 30 centimeters high, 8f inches, 22 

1 Am. J. Sd. III., Vo). 33, p. 505, June, 1SS7. 

Mk V 


FIG. 2. 


centimeters wide, and has fifty different layers, twenty-five 
of beryl, the remaining twenty-five of albite, quartz, and mus- 
covite* All the corners of the hexagonal prism are carried out 
in full, giving the beryl an asteriated appearance, and making 
it a striking and interesting specimen. Prof. Parker Cleaveland 
mentions 1 having seen several emeralds from Top sham. Me., of a 
lively green color, scarcely, if at all, inferior to the finest Peru- 
vian emeralds ; also two beautiful rose-colored beryls, over 
i inch across, have been found at Goshen, Mass*, and are in the 
Gibbs Cabinet at Yale University. An emerald from Haddam, 
Conn*, deep green in color, an inch in diameter and several inches 
in length, is mentioned in Bruce’s u Mineralogi cal Journal ** 1 as 
belonging to Col. George Gibbs’ cabinet ; but as no true emeralds 
from Haddam and Topsham are in existence, this may really 
be a dark-green beryl, as the species beryl is in that locality 
called emerald. 

In the United States National Museum, at Washington, are 
three beryls, one 6 carats in weight, of a light-green color, another 
i carat, light-blue, from Royalston, Mass*, and a third and per- 
haps the finest specimen ever found at the Portland, Conn., quar- 
ries, is 15 carats in weight, and of a rich sea-blue color, almost 
deep enough to rival in splendor the superb 3-carat Brazilian blue- 
stone that is in the same case. The writer obtained at Stoneham, 
Oxford County, Me*, two beryls, exceptional for the United 
States. These were found in 1881, several miles apart, and sev- 
eral miles from the topaz region, by farmers who were traversing 
pastures in the township. The first was found in two pieces, as 
if it had been roughly used, and broken, and discarded as worth- 
less, or else broken in taking from the rock and then rejected, its 
value not being known. This crystal measured 4! inches (120 
millimeters) long, and 2 T V inches (54 millimeters) wide, and was 
originally about 5 inches (130 millimeters) long, and 3 inches (75 
millimeters) wide* The color was rich sea-green viewed in the di- 
rection of the longer axis of the prism, and sea-blue of a very 
deep tint through the side of the crystal* In color and material, 
this is the finest specimen that has been found at any North 

1 Mineralogy and Geology, by Parker Cleaveland, p. 341, Boston, 1822, 

a VoL 5, p* 9, 1813, 



American locality, and the crystals, unbroken, would equal the 
finest foreign crystals known. It furnished the finest aquamarine 
ever found in the United States, measuring if inches (35 milli- 
meters) by if inches (35 millimeters), by f inch (20 millimeters). 
It was cut as a brilliant and weighs 133^ carats. The color is 
bluish-green, and, with the exception of a few hairlike internal 
striations, is perfect. (See Colored Plate No. 5.) In addition 
to this remarkable gem, the same crystal furnished over 300 
carats of fine stones. The other crystal is doubly terminated, 
being if inches (41 millimeters) long, and f inch (15 millimeters) 
in diameter. Half of it is transparent, with a faint green color, 
the remainder is of a milky green and only translucent. Where 
the two colors meet, the crystal, like the Haddam beryls, has 
the appearance of a solution in which a flocculent precipitate 
has almost completely settled, leaving the upper portion nearly 

Beryl, resembling the Siberian, is found in greenish-yellow and 
deep-green crystals, in the South Mountains, nine miles southwest 
of Morganton, Burke County ; in the Sugar Mountains at Shoup’s 
Ford, Dietz’s, Huffman’s, and Hildebrand's; and in smaller 
crystals in Jackson County, N. C. One fine blue-green crystal 
in quartz was found at Mill’s Gold Mine, Burke County, and one 
fine transparent green crystal from that vicinity is now in the 
cabinet of M. T. Lynde, of Brooklyn, N. Y. Fine blue-green 
aquamarine occurs at Ray’s Mine on Hurricane Mountain, 
Yancey County, N, C. Clear green beryls have been found 
at Balsam Gap, Buncombe County ; Carter’s Mine, Madison 
County ; Thorn Mountain, Macon County, and at Wells, 
Gaston County. Some crystals 2 feet long and 7 feet in diam- 
eter, small pieces of which would cut into gems with small, clear 
spots, occur four miles south of Bakersville Creek, and still 
larger crystals, not of gem value, at Grassey Creek, N. C. 
Beautiful transparent beryls have been found at Streaked Moun- 
tains, Norway, Lovell, Bethell, and Franklin Plantation, Me., 
and very good ones also at Mount Mica and Grafton, Me. At 
Albany, Me., have been found beautiful transparent golden- 
yellow beryls that would cut into perfect gems of over 2 
carats each. A fine sea-green aquamarine beryl, weighing 

about 7 carats, was found near Sumner, Me. Some very clear 
white stones are obtained at Pearl Hill, Fitchburg, Mass., 
and are there sold by the local dealers. A very fine golden- 
yellow beryl of 4 carats, from this locality, is in the collec- 
tion of Doctor Hamlin. Fine crystals of beryl, of almost 
emerald-green color, also beautiful yellowish-green and bluish 
beryls, are found in Deshong’s Quarry, near Leiperville, Pa. At 
Shaw & Ezra’s Quarry, near Chester, in Upper Providence, and 
in Middletown, Concord, and Marple Townships, fine specimens 
have been found. Fine beryls also have been found at White 
Horse, three or four miles below Darby, Pa. Bluish-green and 
blue beryls occur in the vicinity of Unionville, Newlin Township, 
and on Brandywine battlefield, in Birmingham Township. One 
crystal, of a dark tourmaline green tint, over ^ inch long, in the 
cabinet of Michael Bradley, of Chester, Pa., is from Middletown, 
Delaware County, and would afford a fine gem. Some of the 
stones here have much the appearance of bluish emeralds. The 
finest golden-yellow beryls are found at the Avondale Quarries, 
Delaware County, Pa, A 20-carat gem is in the cabinet of Mrs. 
M. J. Chase, of Philadelphia, and the material for another is in the 
cabinet of Clarence S. Bement. In 1882 B. B. Chamberlin found 
in Manhattan ville, New York City, six fine yellow beryls that cut 
into stones of 1 to 2 carats each. At a mica mine in Litchfield 
County, Conn., between Litchfield and New Milford, were found 
during the past four years a quantity of deep-yellow, light-yellow, 
yellow-green, light-green, and white beryls, which were cut into 
gems and extensively sold as jewelry, the former under the name 
of golden beryl. Several thousand dollars’ worth of beryls 
from this locality were annually sold. These beryls were 
at first placed on the New York market as an entirely 
new stone, said to be very nearly as hard as the sap- 
phire, and to be from some South American locality. Prof. 
Eugene A. Smith, State Geologist of Alabama, obtained 
from Coosa County, Ala., some light, golden-yellow beryls of 
sufficient transparency to furnish small gems. Large masses 
weighing many pounds, of translucent, light sea-green beryl, 
were obtained at Branchville, Conn., in connection with other 
minerals described by Prof. George J. Brush and Prof. Edward 



S. Dana. These were handsome enough to furnish ornamental 
objects, small balls i or 2 Inches in diameter, charms, etc. 

Aquamarine has been found in a number of localities in the 
United States, the principal among them being Royalston, 
Mass.; Acworth, N. H. ; Grafton, Vt. ; Burke County; Stony 
Point, N. C. ; Paris, Me. ; Fitchburg, Mass.; and Avondale, Pa. 
The richest colored gems from any known locality have been 
found at Royalston, Mass. Although small, they are almost as 
blue as sapphire. Large, clear gems of light-blue and sea-green 
tint have been found at Acworth, Grafton, and Stony Point; at 
the latter locality shading into beryl-emerald. The crystals of 
beryl found associated with phenacite on Mount Antero, Chaffee 
County, Col., are obtained at an altitude of from 12,000 to 14,000 
feet, and vary in size from 1 to 4 inches in length and from Tf to 
1 inch in diameter. As crystals, they are re- 
markable for the fact that portions of them 
have been entirely dissolved or eaten away, 
which gives them a peculiar etched appear- 
ance. In a number of instances not only 
have the ends of the crystals entirely disap- 
peared, occasionally leaving long, needle-like 
projections, but holes have been eaten 
through the crystal. In color they vary from Cl 1 R YSOB-K R YLt 

a very light-blue to quite a dark sky-blue, almost as rich as 
some of the finest Brazilian crystals. They would furnish gems 
up to 10 carats in weight, the largest one cut weighing 5 carats. 

A variety of blue beryl, called goshenite, occurs at Goshen, 
Mass., in pieces transparent enough to afford gems. Chryso- 
beryl occurs in orthorhombic prisms, and frequently more or less 
modified as shown in Fig. 3. Its hardness is 8‘5, next to that 
of sapphire, and its specific gravity is from 3*65 to 3 ’85. In 
color it varies from yellow or golden-yellow through brown and 
green, including a large series of sage-green and leaf-green, as 
well as rich brown. Alexandrite is the variety of chrysoberyl 
that is colored by chromium. It is, by natural light, of 
a deep leaf or olive-green color, but by candle-light appears a rasp- 
berry or columbine-red shade. The true cat’s-eye is a variety of 
chrysoberyl that owes its chatoyancy to minute internal striations 



of the composite crystals of which the latter is made up, or the 
twinning of the crystal; or when certain minerals have been de- 
posited between the layers during crystallization, the stone, being 
cut en cabochon across these lines, exhibits the phenomenon* 
The stellate effect frequently produced by the twinning of chryso- 
beryl is shown in Fig. 4. Alexandrite was named after Alex- 
ander I*, Czar of Russia, on whose birthday it was discovered. 
Large crystals that occasionally furnish gems are found in 
Takowaja, Siberia* Fine gems, up to 67 carats each, have been 
found during the last ten years in the kingdom of Kandy, Ceylon, 
associated with the true cat’s-eye, and the yellow, brown, and 
green chrysoberyh This is also found in the alexandrite variety, 
but it is extremely rare* Beautiful light-golden chrysoberyls (the 
chrysolite of the jeweler, valued at nearly as high a rate as the 

FIG* 4* 


diamond in the time of Louis XIV.) have been found in Brazil, 
also fine light-yellow cat’s-eyes. 

Chrysoberyl, of sufficient transparency to be of gem value, 
is not found in North America. It has been found at Stoneham, 
also at Canton, Peru, Norway, and Stow, Me., but thus far not 
in fine specimens. Some of the small yellow crystals occurring 
in the fibrolite at Stoneham are, however, quite perfect in form. 
Small crystals occur at Canton and Stow, Me., together with 
large, coarse crystals. At Stow 1 it has been found in masses 
weighing about 5 pounds each. A single distorted crystal 
3 by 5 by 1 inches, opaque, and of a dull yellow-gray color, has 
also been found, which may in part furnish very poor chryso- 
beryl cat’s-eye. Nathaniel H. Perry found one small, very perfect 
crystal at Tubb's Ledge, Me., and it has also been observed at 

1 Trans* N* Y, Acad. Sri., Vol. 2, p. 64, Jan. 22, 1&83. 

9 8 


Speckled Mountain, Norway, Me., by Prof. Addison E, Verrill. 
A crystal 3& inches long by i inch wide, from Topsham, Me., 
and one inches long by I inch wide, from Buckfield, Me., are 
in the collection of Prof. George J. Brush, of New Haven, Conn. 
Rev. Frederick Merrick stated that he had collected, fifty years 
ago, some crystals that he believed would furnish gems, but 
perhaps not of the finest quality, at Haddam, Conn., the old 
and well-known locality now exhausted. At Greenfield, one 
mile north of Saratoga Springs, N. Y., now also exhausted, were 
found many beautiful crystals; also in New Hampshire in gran- 
ite, at the deep cut of the Northern Railroad, at Orange Summit. 
None of these localities, however, has furnished a fine gem. The 
most promising localities are those in Maine, and gems, if found at 
all, will be likely to occur there. Haddam, Conn., has furnished 


Chemical Composition 




H addum, Conn, 

N orth America. 
Thomson. a 

H addam, Conn. 

JJ amour. 3 

Haddam, Conn. 


Ferrous Oxide ...... 






76 02 


Her villa 

19" 20 





Ferric Oxide. 


4 'U 

4 'S 1 


Titanic Oxide 

, # „ , 

« . * ■ 

Loss on Ignition . . . 



* Typical Analysis* Ramnielsberg’s Mineral Cheroie* p. 51 Phillip's Mineralogy, 1852, p. 268. 

A * Damour* Ann. ChinL Fhys, III., 7, 173,, 

many fine twin crystals. Among some rolled quartz pebbles sent 
from North Carolina for examination, a transparent yellow 
chrysoberyl was observed, which would afford a -1-carat stone. 
The alexandrite variety of chrysoberyl has not been observed 

Phenacite crystallizes In the rhombohedral system. Its hard- 
ness is about 8 and its specific gravity about 3*0. It is a silicate 
of glucinum. The colorless, transparent variety is one of the 
most brilliant stones known, occasionally showing prismatic 
colors (or fire), by candle or artificial light. The finest large 
specimens known are found at Takowaja, fifty-six miles east of 
Ekaterinburg, in Siberia. Phenacite was first identified in the 
United States in 1882, when it was discovered in the Pike’s Peak 
Region, Col, 1 and more recently on Bald Mountain, North 

1 Am. J. Sci. 111 ., Vol. 24, p. 282, Oct. T 1882. 



Chatham, N. H. Both localities have furnished crystals of 
sufficient size and quality to be cut into fair gems. The first 
occurrence of this mineral in the United States was mentioned 
by Whitman Cross and W. F. Hillebrand,' who published a short 
description and figure of a crystal occurring with mica and amazon- 
stone in El Paso County, Pike’s Peak Range, Col., where some 
of the largest crystals in the United States have been found. 
The largest and finest phenacite crystal ever found in the 
United States is the one in the possession of Clarence S. 
Bement. It is from Crystal Park, Col., and weighs 59 penny- 
weights and 6 grains, and measures nearly 2 inches (46'5 milli- 
meters) in length, and i£ inches (32 millimeters) in thickness. 
Occasional transparent spots are noticeable in it. A second 
locality is at Topaz Butte, near Florissant, about sixteen miles 

FIG- 5, 


from Pike’s Peak. The crystals here are usually implanted 
on amazonstone and topaz. Many hundreds of them were 
found, varying in size from inch to i inch (1 millimeter 
to 20 millimeters) in diameter, of which quite a number were 
transparent. They are often readily detached, or occur in a 
brown mass believed to be fayalite. The other Colorado locality 
is Mount Antero, where the crystals are found at an altitude 

•Am. J. Sci., III., Vol. 24, p. 2S2, Oct., 1S82. See also full description of phenacites from 
Crystal Park and Florissant, Col., by Whitman Cross and W, F. Hillebrand in Bulletin No. 20, 
of the United States Geological Survey, Washington, 1885* Phenacite from the Florissant locality 
was described later by William E* Hidden, Am. J* Sci., III., Vol. 29, p. 249, March, 1885* The 
crystals at Florissant were first found by J. G. Hei stand, of Manitou, CoL See Samuel L. 
Pen field, Am, J. Sri,, XII*, Vol. 36, p, 320, Nov. iSSS. 



of about 14,000 feet, in a region of almost perpetual snow, which 
is accessible for only a short period during the summer. Hun- 
dreds of crystals have been found attached to and implanted on 
quartz crystals, transparent beryl, and Baveno twin crystals of 
orthoclase feldspar. The largest crystal found measured over 
1 inch across and was nearly 1 inch long. The crystals are 
nearly all quartzoids or simple rhomb ohedrons. (See Fig. 5.) 
Some have a faint wine-color and others a smoky, bluish tinge. 
Some smoky quartz crystals, with crystals of phenacite in the 
center, were observed. In May, 1888, E. A. Andrews, of Stow, 
Me., discovered some crystals of phenacite on Bald Mountain, 
North Chatham, N. H., near the State line between Maine and 
New Hampshire, and in the neighborhood of Stoneham, Me. 
They were found in a vein of coarse albitic granite, 1 associated 
with crystals of smoky quartz, topaz, and muscovite, some im- 
planted on smoky quartz, a few attached so loosely to the 
matrix by one of the rhombohedral faces that they could be re- 
moved without being broken. They were about fifty in number, 
lenticular in shape, and measured from & inch to } inch (3 milli- 
meters to 12 millimeters) across, and from 2V inch to & inch 
(1 millimeter to 3 millimeters) in thickness. They were all white 
or colorless, with polished faces, and for the most part very sim- 
ple inform. The series from Pike’s Peak, Col., has been described 
by Prof. Samuel L. Penfield.’ Few of the phenacites found in 
the United States have been cut into gems, but several thousand 
dollars’ worth have been sold as mineralogical specimens, and now 
adorn the cabinets of the world. 

Mention is made of euclase in the United States as follows : 
Several crystals were reported as having been found at Mills’s 
Spring, Polk County, N. C, by Gen. Thomas L. Clingman, in 
washing the gold sand at this locality, but Prof. Frederick A. 
Genth says’ that they were not euclase. It was also mentioned 
as having been found in connection with topaz at Trumbull, 
Conn., but this report proved incorrect.' With the full series of 
glucinum found in this country, it is not unlikely that euclase 

1 Am. J. Sci. III., Vol. 27, p. 212, March, 1S84. 

s Am, J- Sci, III., Vol. 33, p, 131, Feb., 18S7. 

3 Minerals and Mineral Localities of North Carolina, p, 54, 1S81* 

4 Am. J, Sci. I., Vol. 43, p. 366, July, 1S42. 



will soon be reported. It has been found in magnificent crys- 
tals at Villa Rica, Brazil, S. A*, but it is of extremely rare occur- 
rence, is highly cleavable, and is scarcely known except to 

The peridot of the jeweler, which is the chrysolite or olivine 
of the mineralogist, is found in abundance and of a good quality, 
in the form of small, olive-green, pitted grains or pebbles associ- 
ated with garnet, in the sands of Arizona and New Mexico* 
Locally they are called job’s tears on account of their pitted ap- 
pearance. This material affords smaller gems than those coming 
from the Levant, and as the demand seems to be for the large 
peridots of the richer olive-green color, which is not possessed by 
those from the United States, only a small number of the peri- 


Chemical Composition ano Pkoe'ertik-s, 



Topaz Butte, 
Florissant t Col, 
Analyst* Sperry. 1 

Topaz Butte, 
Florissant, Col. 
Analyst, Pen field. 4 


54 ' 2 5 







Soda . 

0*2 l 

Lithia. . ... . .... , 




.... * 


Clear— Colorless. 


Specific Gravity. 

2 , 966 ~ 2'957 


a , 4 a L. Peufield and E. S, Sperry, Am, J, ScL* Nov., iftSS, p. 320. 

dots found in the West have been cut into gems. Many of the 
so-called “ emeralds ” in European church treasuries, notably 
those of the “ Three Magi ” in the Cathedral of Cologne, are 
peridots and not emeralds, but the locality whence they were 
taken is now unknown. All the peridots that are sold in modern 
times are taken out of jewelry which is often two centuries old. 
The chrysolite of the French jewelers is chrysoberyl. From the 
meteoric iron that was found on Glorietta Mountain, Santa F 6 
County, N. M., in 1885, the writer 1 obtained some peridots of 
1 carat in weight, that were transparent and yellowish-green in 
color. The meteorite that was found on Glorietta Mountain, 
Santa Fe County, N. M., and the one found at Eagle Station, 
Carroll County, Ky., is believed to be identical with the piece, 

1 Am. J. Sci. III., Vo]. 32, p. 311, Oct., 1886. 










I— H 











*■. ■* 


+i E 


C ~ 




e *5 
rn -c 
u U 

1 “ 

<: - 

" "5 


2 ni 




O Cl 

*p 9 
io b 

Cl ■, 


3 ? S 

s :ra 

b : o h 

V r — 

* O ’'*■ oj 

. M V U 

* « f3 

,1 M tif M 

8 : : 8 

o : b G 

?? 8 S 

a fop j- 

8 : : $ 
G : ; o 

Q n un cs 

o» b x »! oc 

£ ^ i % 










f z 




u : u : 

. + ■ 

tb -'■ 


— s. 


z > z =; 

0 s 






£ C ^ *J 

8 " 



*8 v ■£ ,£ 





s N. Jihrh. fur Min,, 1^88, Vol. I„ Part I. T Manicc, Am. J. Sci. IX. f 31, p. 359. 

1 E„ S. Djiip, Am. J. Sci. Ill. h 3, 4$. 9 F. A. Gcnth, Am. J, Sci. II,,, 33, 199. 

* Am. j. Sci. 1 1 1 . h T; j , tgj. 


now in the meteorite collection at Harvard University, that was 
found on the altar of one of the Altar Mounds in the Little Miami 
Valley, Ohio, by Prof, Frederick W. Putnam. Both of these 
meteorites contained clear crystals of olivine that would cut into 
gems of over 1 carat each, so that these may be truly called “ ce- 
lestial precious stones.” 

The gem stone called zircon is sometimes known as jargon 
or jargoon, jacinth or the true hyacinth. Its hardness is about 
7-5, and its specific gravity is generally 4 "j, although it is vari- 
able, ranging from 4't to 4'g. It is a silicate of zirconium, con- 
taining zirconium oxide sixty-seven parts, and silica thirty-three 
parts. It has a large range of color owing to its high dispersive 
power, and exhibits more “ fire” than any other known gem ex- 
cept the diamond. The finest gem stones come from Ceylon, Mud- 
gee, and New South Wales. Those from Expailly in Auvergne, 
France, are exceedingly small and are of true hyacinth color. 

Zircon has not often been found in the United States in 
pieces sufficiently clear to warrant cutting. Some very small 
crystals of good color have been found in Burke County, N. C., 
and the terminations of the zircons from St. Lawrence County, 
N. Y., might be cut into very small gems of I carat or less in 
weight. Near the Pike’s Peak toll-road, almost due west from 
the Cheyenne Mountains, following a vein-like mass of white 
quartz in granite, is found a very interesting form of zircon. 
The crystals are either in the quartz or in a soft yellow material, 
and are generally a deep reddish-brown, pink, or pale honey-yel- 
low, and T. Whitman Cross mentions a few small crystals of deep 
emerald-green color. The crystals are all pyramidal, having very 
little or no prism. The largest observed were about | inch, 
but generally they are not more than W to •« inch in length, 
and would only cut into minute gems. As crystals, however, 
these are perhaps the most beautiful known, owing to their 
transparency, brilliancy, and perfection.' Some white and color- 
less crystals sent from this locality were found to be the result 
of heating, which destroyed the natural color. Ceylon zircons 
treated in this way were formerly used for intrusting watches, 
which were then sold as diainond-incrusted, so greatly did this 
1 Am. J. Sci. III., Vol. 24, p. 285, Oct., 1882. 



variety resemble the diamond. An opaque variety of zircon 
is found in several localities in the Pike’s Peak District, 
in one instance associated with amazonstone, and in another 
with astrophyllite, also with flesh-colored microline. No mate- 
rial that would cut into gems has been found at any of these 
localities. In North Carolina zircon is abundant in the gold 
sands of Polk, Burke, McDowell, Rutherford, and Caldwell 
Counties, in nearly all the colors peculiar to Ceylon — yellowish- 
brown, brownish-white, amethystine, pink, and blue. The crys- 
tals are beautifully modified, but too minute to be of any value. 
Brown and brownish-yellow crystals, very perfect in form, occur 
abundantly in Henderson County, N. C., and in equal abun- 
dance in Anderson County, S. C. The latter are readily dis- 
tinguished from the North Carolina crystals, as they are generally 
larger, often an inch across, and the prism is almost always very' 
small, the crystal frequently being made up of the two pyramids 
only. Fine crystals of zircon have been found in Lower Saucon 
Township, Northampton County, Pa., three-fourths of a mile 
north of Bethlehem. The gravels of the Delaware and Schuyl- 
kill Rivers contain considerable quantities of very minute, nearly 
colorless, crystals of zircon. Some fine ones, over an inch in 
length, have been found at Litchfield, Me., and all through the 
cancrinite and sodalite rocks near that place. In the Canfield 
Cabinet at Dover, N. J., there arc some of the finest known black 
zircon crystals, over an inch long, that were found near Frank- 
lin, N. J. Opaque green zircons in crystals an inch long and 
a half-inch across have been found by C. D. Nimms in the 
town of Fine, St. Lawrence County, N. Y. They were remark- 
able mineralogical specimens, but of no gem value. One found 
by Dr. Samuel L. Penfield, now in the United States National 
Museum, is nearly 4 inches long and doubly terminated. Dur- 
ing 1886, the demand for minerals containing the rare earths, 
zirconia, thoria, glucina, etc., greatly increased, as they were 
then wanted to furnish the mantles or hoods of incandescent gas- 
burners. This demand led at once to active search by collect- 
ors and mineral-dealers in England, Germany, France, Russia, 
Norway, and Brazil, and especially in the United States. So 
thorough and successful has this search been that many minerals 


which were then considered rare are now so plentiful that they 
are quoted at one-tenth to one-hundredth of their former prices. 
The best zircon locality in North Carolina is on the old Mere- 
dith Freeman Estate, Green River, Henderson County. It was 
leased for twenty-five years by Gen. Thomas L. Clingman of 
that State, who, as early as 1869, mined 1,000 pounds of zircon, 
and during that whole period never lost faith in the incandescent 
properties of zirconia ; but when these were proved and acknowl- 
edged, through some legal difficulties General Clingman had for- 
feited his leases, and hence failed to reap his reward. The 
Henderson County, N. C,, and Anderson County, S. C., zircon 


Chemical Composition 





Lite h field, Ale. 
W. Gibbs. 1 

Reading, Pa. 

C* M. Wet herd I.* 

Buncombe Co., 

m c. 


C* F, Chandler . 3 


El Paso Co., CoL 

G. A. Koenig.* 



35’ 2 9 






< 53*33 




Ferric Oxide. ♦ P . . , 




9* 20 


, . 



o + $o 




Iron Black. 

Specific Gravity. . * 





1 w. Gibbs, Ann. derPhys, Pogg,, 71+ 559. 4 C. F. Chandler, Am. J. ScL II., 2+, ijr. 

3 C M. Wet fieri 11 , Trans, Am. Phil. Soc. 10, 34.6* 4 G, A, Koenig* Trans. Am. Phil* 5 cc. 16, 5?S, 

Am. J. Sei. II., 15, 443. 1877. 

is found in large quantities, loose in the soil, as the result of the 
decomposition of a feldspathic rock. The crystals are generally 
remarkable for their perfection, are distinct in each locality, and 
weigh occasionally several ounces. The recent demand has also 
brought to light the existence of enormous quantities of zircon 
in the Ural Mountains and in Norway. Though very large 
crystals, some weighing 15 pounds, have been found in Canada 
(Renfrew and the adjoining counties), they are so isolated that it 
would be impossible to obtain a supply there. The new demand 
has brought together more than 25 tons of zircon; and this min- 
eral may prove of considerable value, for the earth it contains 
can be used as a refractory material for crucibles and furnaces. 
As new processes have cheapened and made available aluminum 
and magnesium, so zirconium may yet be called into use. 


The Quartz Group:— Rock Crystal, Transparent Quartz, Amethyst, Smoky Quartz, 
Cairngorm Stone, Gold Quartz, Rose Quartz, Novactilite, Silicified Coral, 
Quartzite, Quartz Inclusions, Thetis Hairstone, Agate, Jasper, 

Silicified Wood, Opal, Hydrophane, etc. 

T HE quartz group consists of a large series of substances, 
which to the eye are very unlike each other, and pass 
under a great variety of names, but they are all 
chemically of one substance, namely, silica. The vari- 
ous colors are evidently due to the presence of metallic oxides, 
principally manganese or iron. Quartz may be divided into two 
groups, crystalline and cryptocrystalline. The former crystallizes 
in the rhombohedral system, generally as six-sided prisms, with a 
hardness of 7 and a specific gravity for the colorless of 2 '65, the 
specific gravity of cairngorm and the amethyst being slightly 

Following is a list of the crystalline varieties : 

Amethyst. — Deep purple, bluish violet fading almost into 

Asteriated Star-Quartz. — Containing between layers of 
the crystals a deposition of substances, so that when cut en cabo- 
chon across the prism it exhibits asterism. 

Aventurine. — Transparent to opaque, either red or yellow, 
with iridescent spangles of mica distributed through it. 

Cairngorm. — Transparent, smoky gray, yellow, yellowish 
brown, and brown. 




Cat’s-eye.- — Translucent, gray or greenish, chatoyant when 
cut en cabochon, an effect due to fibres of asbestus or actin- 

Hyaline. — Opalescent white, due to admixture of chalce- 

Milk Quartz. — Opalescent, milky white, sometimes yellow 
by transmitted light. 

Morion. — Deep black, almost opaque. 

Prase. — Translucent, leek-green, deep green. 

Rock Crystal. — Transparent and colorless. 

Rose Quartz,— Rose red or pink, sometimes opalescent, 

Sappiiirine Quartz or Siderite. — Translucent and grayish 
blue, indigo, and Berlin blue color. 

Sagenite.— Penetrated with acicular crystals of other mine- 
rals, generally rutile, tourmaline, gothite, stibnite, asbestus, acti- 
nolite, hornblende, epidote, etc. 

Smoky Quartz. — Transparent, and various shades of gray 
and brown. 

False Topaz, Scotch, Saxon, or Spanish Topaz. — Trans- 
parent yellow or light brown, generally the result of decoloriza- 
tion by heat. 

The cryptocrystalline varieties are : 

Agate Chalcedony. — Jasper or rock crystal, mottled or in 
layers ; when irregular, called fortification agate ; when banded, 
banded agate. 

Agate Jasper. — A variety of agate containing jasper. 

Basanite, Lydian Stone, or Touchstone. — A velvet-black 
siliceous stone, or flinty jasper, used by the jewelers for trying 
the purity of precious metals. 

Beekite, — Silicified corals, shells, or limestones, resembling 

Bloodstone. — Jasper, translucent to opaque, green with red 

Chalcedony. — Clouded or translucent, white, yellow, brown, 
or blue. 

Chrysoprase. — Translucent, pale bluish-green or yellow- 

Carnelian. — Translucent like horn, yellow, brown, or red. 


Egyptian Jasper. — Opaque, concentric, with other layers of 
brown, yellow, or black. 

Heliotrope. — With base of chalcedony colored with green 
delessite, red spots of iron oxide. 

Jasper, — -Impure, opaque-colored quartz, red, yellow, brown, 
or gray-blue, called ribbon jasper when striped. 

Onyx,- — Like agate, but consisting of distinct, even layers, 
so that it can be used in cutting cameos. 

Plasma. — Bright green, leaf-green, and almost emerald-green, 
very translucent 

Porcelain Jasper, — Different from true jasper in being vis- 
ible gray, white, and pink. 

Sard.— Translucent, red, brownish red, crimson, blue-red 
and blackish red, golden and amber, 

Sard Onyx, — Like onyx, but having a stratum or several 
strata of sard. 

A remarkable mass of rock crystal, weighing 51 pounds, 
was sent, in 1886, to Tiffany & Co., New York, It pur- 
ported to be from Cave City, Va., but as it subsequently 
proved was found in the mountainous part of Ash County, 
N. C. 1 The original crystal, which must have weighed 300 
pounds, was unfortunately broken in pieces by the ignorant 
mountain girl who found it, but the fragment sent to New 
York was sufficiently large to admit of being cut into slabs 
8 inches square and from half an inch to an inch thick. The 
original crystal, if it had not been broken, would have fur- 
nished an almost perfect ball 4^ or 5 inches in diameter. A 
visit to the locality by the author showed that this specimen 
had been found near Long Shoal Creek, on a spur of Phoenix 
Mountain in Chestnut Hill Township, There have also been 
found at two places, 600 feet apart (about one mile from the for- 
mer locality), two crystals, one weighing 285 pounds, that was 
29 inches long, 18 inches wide, 13 inches thick, showing one pyra- 
midal termination entirely perfect and the other partly so ; also 
another specimen that weighed 188 pounds. These crystals 
were all found in decomposed crystalline rocks consisting of a 

] Proc. Am. Ass 1 !! Adv. Sci., Vol. 35, p. 229, 1SS6. 


coarse feldspathic granite, and were obtained either by digging 
where one crystal had been found, or by driving a plough 
through the soil. Altogether, there have been found in this 
vicinity several dozen crystals, weighing from 20 to 300 pounds 
each, and future working will undoubtedly bring more to light. 
These large crystals are often very irregular and pitted, like 
many of the crystals of quartz from St. Gothard. Of those 
found, the most irregular was 20^ pounds in weight, with the 
entire surface rough and opaque like ground glass, and almost 
spherical in form but perfectly transparent. In a few instances, 
they had a coating of rich, green-colored chlorite that penetrated 
to the depth of an inch. This was left on the quartz, and it gave 
the cut object, after polishing, the effect of a pool of water with 
green moss growing on the bottom. A large piece weighing 1 r 
pounds, brought from Alaska in 1884, originally formed a part 
of a mass that must have weighed 44 pounds. It afforded clear 
crystal slabs for hand-glasses, 3 by 5 inches. The superiority of 
this mineral over glass lies in the fact that it does not, like glass, 
detract from the rosiness of the complexion, as is well shown in 
the fine mirror of this substance in the green vaults at Dresden, 
Saxony. Transparent crystallized quartz is found in many places 
in the United States. At Lake George, in Herkimer County, 
and throughout the adjacent regions in New York State, the cal- 
ciferous sandstone contains single crystals, and at times large 
cavities are found filled with doubly terminated crystals often of 
remarkable perfection and brilliancy. These are collected in 
numbers, and both natural and uncut specimens are mounted in 
jewelry and sold to tourists under the name of “ Lake George 
Diamonds.” Those sold in large cities under this name are, in 
nearly every instance, the so-called “paste,” a lead glass which 
has more brilliancy and fire but does not have the same dur- 
ability as the quartz. Of the Herkimer crystals, possibly $1,000 
worth are sold yearly. On account of their remarkable brilliancy 
and perfect crystallization, rivaling even those found in the cav- 
ities of the Carrara marble, many collections of them have been 
made, notably one by Rev. Bogert Walker, formerly of Herki- 
mer, N. Y. There are collections at Middleville, Little Falls, 
and Canajoharie, and very fine ones in the State Museum at 



Albany, and Smith College at Northampton, Mass. These nat- 
ural crystals are extensively sold along the railway, a two-ounce 
vial containing about 500 usually costing from fifty cents to $2. 
A specimen with a drop enclosed often commands from fifty cents 
to $30, and a single fine limpid crystal from ten cents to $25. 
Many of these crystals are whiter than any diamond and fre- 
quently as brilliant and transparent. They are often so small 
that in an ounce will be contained over 7,500 crystals, all perfect 
and doubly terminated. Curious groupings or inclusions, of 
great beauty, such as bitumen, pearl spar, and other substances, 
are eagerly sought for by collectors. Many fine specimens were 
obtained at Middleville, Newport, and Little Falls, N. Y., when 
the West Shore Railroad was opened. The old diggings at Lit- 
tle Falls have been worked so extensively from time to time that 
the roadway has been encroached upon, and to such a degree 
that further search has been rendered almost impossible. The 
mode of procedure was to tap the rock until a hollow sound indi- 
cated a cavity, and within these cavities the crystals were found, 
sometimes few in number, sometimes as many as a bushel. At 
Diamond Point and Diamond Island, Lake George, N. Y., crys- 
tals occur similar to those found in Herkimer County, and they 
have been extensively sold during the last forty years. At Crys- 
tal Mountain, Ark., and in the region around Hot Springs for 
about forty miles, large veins of quartz are frequently met with 
in a red sandstone. The exact geological horizon of the Arkan- 
sas quartz has not yet been accurately defined. The crystals are 
common in the millstone grit and in the underlying rock, occa- 
sionally the lower strata and also the millstone grit coming 
through the beds anywhere between the layer of carboniferous 
and the Cambrian. In some cases, detached crystals are found 
in beds of sandstone or quartzite, and again in quartz veins that 
traverse both the layers of the carboniferous and the underlying 
beds. They are often found in cavern-like openings, in one of 
which, a cavity 30 feet long and 6 feet high, were found several 
tons of crystals, the sides of the cavity being completely cov- 
ered with them. (See Illustration.) Wagon-loads of these 
crystals are taken to Hot Springs and Little Rock by the 
farmers, who often do considerable blasting to secure them, and 


I I I 

who search for them when their crops do not need attention. 
They are sold by the local dealers, principally as mementoes. 
Probably a hundred wagon-loads have been bought by visitors at 
these and other resorts. 

Usually only half of the crystal is clear, and a clear space 
over two inches square is quite uncommon. The sale of uncut 
crystals from this region amounts to fully $ 10,000 per annum. At 
Hot Springs, Ark., clear rolled pebbles, that are found on the 
banks of the Washita River, are often sold and are more highly 
prized than the crystals, because of the mistaken belief that they 
will cut into clearer gems. The great demand for these pebbles, 
which are scarce, has so excited the cupidity of some of the in- 
habitants of the vicinity that they have learned to produce rolled 
pebbles by putting numbers of the crystals in a box, which is 
kept revolving for a few days by water-power. Any expert, how- 
ever, can discern the difference, since the artificial ones are a lit- 
tle whiter on the surface. Many localities in Colorado yield fine 
specimens of quartz, and all along the Atlantic coast at Long 
Branch, Atlantic City, Cape May, and other places, transparent 
pebbles are found in the sand, and are much sought after by visi- 
tors, who often have them cut as souvenirs. At Narragansett 
Pier, R. I., some of the local lapidaries have been known to sub- 
stitute for pebbles found on the beach, foreign cut quartz, cairn- 
gorm, topaz, crocidolite, moonstone from Ceylon, and even glass. 
At all of these resorts large quantities of the quartz pebbles are 
cut in gems and seals, and all manner of ornaments are sold as 
having been found in the vicinity. Sometimes even the stones 
that have been found by the visitors, and intrusted to lapidaries 
to be cut, are exchanged for cut stones, brought to this country 
_from Bohemia, Oldenburg, and the Jura, where cutting is done on 
such a large scale and by labor so poorly paid that the cut stones 
can be delivered in this country at one-tenth of the price of cut- 
ting here, as the rock crystal in the articles themselves has but 
little value. The annual proceeds of the sale of cut stones and the 
money expended in cutting them at these different localities may 
amount to $20,000 or more a year, and the sale of specimens to as 
much more. The clear crystal used in the United States for optical 
purposes is almost entirely Brazilian, not on account of any defici- 



ency in the quality of that found in this country, but because of 
the cheapness of the Brazilian crystal. Cut spectacle-glasses can 
be imported for less than the cutting costs here. Some of the 
most magnificent groups of quartz ever found were formerly ob- 
tained at the Ellenvillc Lead Mines, Ulster County, N Y., and 
some of the finest of these, by gift of Jackson Steward, are now 
in the Museum of Natural History, New York City. Few, if 
any, were cut into gems or used in the arts, although many were 
sold in the vicinity as souvenirs. The Sterling Mine at Antwerp, 
N. Y., furnishes small, fine, doubly terminated dodecahedral 
crystals, and the same forms, with some slight differences, are 
found in the specular iron at Fowler, Hermon, and Edwards, St. 
Lawrence County. Diamond Hill, Lansingburgh, N. Y., is an 
old but poor locality, and Diamond Island, Portland Harbor, Me., 
is well known for the small but bright crystals found there. The 
highly modified crystals from Diamond Hill and Cumberland 
Hill, R. I., also the fine ones from White Plains, in Surrey 
County, N. C., and Stony Point, Alexander County, and from 
Catawba and Burke Counties, N. C., are worthy of mention as 
having formed the subject of the crystallographic memoirs by 
Dr. Gerhard von Rath,' Prof. Frederick A. Genth mentions 
the finding of fine specimens in Delaware and Chester Counties, 
Pa., especially in East Bradford and Pocopson Townships. 
Rock crystal seems to have been valued by the Indians of the 
American continent. Dr. Daniel G. Britton, in a paper on the 
folk lore of Yucatan, quoting Garcia, says that the natives prac- 
tised witchcraft and sorcery, their wise men divining by means of 
a rock crystal, which was believed to exert great influence over 
the crops. The presence of crystals with abraded edges in the 
mounds of Arkansas, North Carolina, and elsewhere, would lead 
to the inference that they were not only collected to bury with 
the dead, but were worn as charms and talismans, and having 
been used for such purposes, were probably interred with the 
dead as their property. Personal observation in Garland and 
Montgomery Counties, Ark., forty miles from the Crystal Moun- 
tain locality, showed that these quartz crystals were found in 
mounds, with a quantity of some of the smallest, finely-chipped 

3 See Natunrvissenschaftlichen Verein, Westphalia. 


arrow-points of chalcedony, yet not a single object made of 
chipped crystal was found. In a number of the mounds leveled 
by the farmers in cultivating, and not examined systematically, 
single crystals of quartz were revealed, which may, however, 
have been kept for their beauty and symmetry by the Indians. 
The report of the finding at Bakersville, N. C., of transparent 
crystals of quartz, weighing 642 pounds and 340 pounds respec- 
tively, was premature, what was found proving to be, not crys- 
tals, but veins of translucent quartzite, with the crystalline mark- 
ings of a group rather than of a single crystal. The clear spaces, 
which were to be observed only on these crystalline sides, would 
hardly afford material for a crystal ball an inch in diameter, and 
with this exception they were almost an opaque white, with flaws. 
Specimens of rutilated quartz and of rock crystal, one mass of 
which weighed over 10 pounds, and was quite clear, though frac- 
tured by frosts, were found near Stuart, Va. Near Trinidad, 
Col., there have been found large quantities of crystalline 
quartz, with small, doubly terminated crystals, resembling those 
from Herkimer County, N. Y. Some of these crystals afford 
larger masses of clear rock crystal than have ever before been 
found in the United States, and suggest its use for art objects, 
such as the crystal balls, clock-cases, mirrors, etc., which are 
now to be seen in the Austrian Treasury at Vienna. In Alexan- 
der and Burke Counties, N. C,, crystals of white as well as of 
smoky quartz have been found, in which were spaces that would 
cut into clear crystal balls of from 2 to 2} inches. One of these 
from Alexander County, measuring 2-fo inches, is in the State 
Museum of Natural History at Albany, N. Y. A very inter- 
esting bead made of rock crystal, fluted and drilled from both 
ends, is in the collection of A. E. Douglas, in New York City. 
It is evidently native work, as it is improbable that foreign 
traders would use white rock crystal beads, when glass would 
answer the purpose as well. 

Amethyst is found on Deer Hill, at Stow, Me., where there 
is a vein of amethystine quartz which has been traced fully one- 
quarter of a mile, and has furnished many thousands of crystals 
during the last twenty years, scarcely any of them, however, 
being of any gem value ; but among some amethysts found dur- 


ing 1885 was one remarkable mass that yielded a gem weighing 
25 carats, of the deep purple color of the Siberian amethyst. 
(See Colored Plate No. 6.) Some fine amethysts have been 
found at Mount Crawford, Surry, Waterville, and Westmore- 
land, N H. At Burrillville, and at Bristol, on Mount Hope 
Bay, R. I., fine amethysts were found, and used as ornaments, 
over sixty years ago. J. Adams says 1 that some were taken 
from a quartz vein in a coarse granite, and others were found in 
the sand at the foot of the hill at low tide. An amethyst nearly 
equal in color to the finest Siberian, and that would afford a gem 
nearly f inch across, was found a mile and a half from Roaring 
Brook, near Cheshire, Conn. When the West Shore Railroad 
tunnel at Weehawken, N. J., was being blasted out, there were 
found a few very fair specimens of amethyst on the trap rock. 
The finest one of these is in the State Museum at Albany, N. Y. 
Professor Genth 1 mentions magnificent specimens from Delaware 
and Chester Counties, Pa. Some of the principal localities are 
the townships of East Bradford, Pocopson, Birmingham, Charles- 
town (where about a quart of loose crystals was obtained), and 
Newlin (where about 100 pounds have been found, but none of 
it of gem value). W. W. Jefferies’ announced that amethysts of 
a rich purple color had been found in the northern part of New- 
lin Township. Crystals, of fine quality, though not affording 
gem material, one weighing 7 pounds, have been found in 
Upper Providence. Amethysts of large size, and with very 
perfect single crystals, well adapted for cutting, were found 
here in a vein of oxide of manganese and solid walls of sand- 
stone, quartz, and quartzite, often extending to a depth of over 
25 feet. The finest, perhaps, of the crystals of this locality, was 
found in November, 1887. (See Colored Plate No. 6.) In these 
gems the purple coloring is unevenly distributed in the crystals, 
as in the case of the Siberian amethysts, both of which, when 
properly cut, disseminate the color in an unevenly tinted ame- 
thyst, making a rich royal purple tint equal to that of any known 
gem. As a precious stone the large crystal has little value, but 

1 Am. J. Sci. I., Vol. 8, p. 199, Aug,, 1824. 

» Preliminary Report on the Mineralogy of Pennsylvania, p, 57. 

s Free. Acad, of Nat. Sci., Phil., Mineralogical Section, p. 44, 


r* ‘ { T A i ' ; 

" : •• * . : •- ■: 


as a crystal it is quite unique. Amethysts have also been found 
in Astor, Concord, Marple, and Middletown Townships. In 
Birmingham, in one locality, they are found in clusters ; in 
another, in fine isolated crystals. At Chester and Thornbury, 
Delaware County, Pa., also, many fine gems have been found by 
collectors. Perhaps the most unique gem of the collection of the 
United States National Museum at Washington is a piece of an 
amethyst found at Webster, N. C., and deposited by Dr. H. S. 
Lucas. The present form is just such as would be made by a 
lapidary in roughly shaping a stone, preliminary to cutting and 
polishing it. It was turtle-shaped when found, which shape was 
unfortunately destroyed by chipping, and was said to have borne 
marks of the handiwork of prehistoric man. It now measures 
3f inches (7 centimetres) in length, 2 % inches (6 centimetres) 
in width, inches (4 centimetres) in thickness, and weighs 4! 
ounces (135 '5 grams). It is perfectly transparent, slightly smoky, 
and pale at one end, and also has a smoky streak in the center. 
This coloring is peculiar to the amethyst, however. In Haywood 
County, N. C., were found quite a number of crystals of ame- 
thyst which were cut into very fine gems. Amethysts of a light 
purple and sometimes of a pink color are found in abundance, 
in crystals 3 inches long and over, at Clayton, Rabun County, 
Ga. At times these have large liquid cavities containing movable 
bubbles of gas. They are of little gem value, although fine as 
specimens. At the Lake Superior watering-places there are sold 
many fine groups of amethyst from Prince Arthur’s Landing, 
Lake Superior. These groups are generally composed of crys- 
tals from \ inch to 5 inches in size, the groups ranging from a 
few inches to several feet. Lake Superior crystals have one pe- 
culiarity : they are spotted with the red, moss-like markings so 
well known, giving the moss amethyst effect if cut, though as a 
rule the coating is so even as to cover the entire surface, noth- 
ing but a brick-red color being visible unless the crystals are 
broken. Notwithstanding its abundance, but few gems could be 
cut from the mineral in this locality. Hoffmann mentions the 
finding of amethyst on the mesa near the mouth of the Rio Vir- 
gin, Nev. In Llano and Burnet Counties, Tex., some very fair 
amethysts have been found ; and also at Grand Rapids, Wood 

Il6 gems and precious stones in the 

County, Wis., in the amygdaloid on the Lake Superior shore, 
and in trap rock at Keweenaw Point and elsewhere in 
the upper peninsula. At Amethyst Mountain, in the Yellow- 
stone National Park, and at Holbrook, Ariz., amethyst varying 
in color from light pink to dark purple lines the hollow trunks 
of agatized trees, and forms a beautiful contrast with the pale 
chalcedony and banded agate sides of the tree-trunks. It is also 
found in small crystals at Nevada and neighboring localities on 
Bear Creek, and on the summit of the range east of the Animas, 

Smoky quartz, also known as smoky topaz or cairngorm, 
and citrine are found in large quantities at and near Pike’s Peak, 
Col. ; also, to some extent, at Mount Anteros Summit, Col., 
Magnet Cove, Ark., Burke and Alexander Counties, N. C., and 
at other points. At Pike’s Peak, Col., it occurs in pockets in a 
coarse, plegmatic granite, often associated with beautiful crystals 
of amazonstone and flesh-colored and other feldspars. The larg- 
est crystal that has as yet been found, measuring over 4 feet in 
length, is in the cabinet of the Marquis of Ailsa, A doubly ter- 
minated crystal 13 inches long and over 5 inches in diameter, 
which would furnish a 5-inch ball, is in the Kunz Collection in 
the State Museum at Albany, N. Y. The Pike’s Peak material 
is sent abroad in large quantities to be cut, and the larger part is 
returned to be sold in tourists’ jewelry, principally at Denver and 
Colorado Springs, Col., Hot Springs, Ark., and in other Western 
cities and summer resorts. The sum realized from the cut mate- 
rial amounts to about $7,500 annually, and that from the crystals 
sold to $2,500 more. Most of the cut articles of smoky quartz 
sold at the tourist resorts are of foreign material, or of material 
found in the United States and cut abroad. Smoky quartz peb- 
bles are occasionally found along the coast of Long Branch, Cape 
May, and cut as souvenirs. Crystals of smoky quartz, a foot in 
length, are frequently found at Sterling, Mont. Of these, a re- 
markably fine specimen was presented by J. E. Davis to the cab- 
inet of the California State Mining Bureau, in San Francisco. 
The quartz of Herkimer County, N. Y., and Diamond Island 
and Diamond Point, Lake George, are occasionally found in a 
variety of beautiful smoky tints which are exceptionally trans- 


parent. Fine smoky quartz has been found at Goshen, Mass. In 
1884, a fine, clear mass, weighing over 6 pounds, with clear spaces 
several inches across, was found on Blueberry Hill, Stoneham, 
Me., and a broken crystal that weighed over 100 pounds and a 
crystal over 4 inches long and 2 across, very clear in parts, were 
found near Mount Pleasant, Oxford County, Me., and a fine crystal 
at Minot, Me. Professor Genth 1 mentioned the occurrence of 
smoky quartz near Philadelphia ; on the Schuylkill, near Reading, 
Berks County; near Hummelstown, Dauphin County ; in Upper 
Darby, near Garret’s road toll-gate, and near the Kellyville school- 
house, all in Delaware County ; at the tunnel near Phcenixville, 
in East Nottingham and Birmingham Townships, Chester County. 
In certain parts of Delaware and Chester Counties the amethyst 
and smoky quartz gradually shade into each other, a character- 
istic peculiar also to many specimens from North Carolina. Some 
fine crystals have been found at Iron Mountain, Mo., and Mag- 
net Cove, Ark. Citrine is mentioned by Hoffmann” as occur- 
ring at Tuscarora, Gold Mountain, and in Palmetto Caflon, 
Nev. At Taylorsville and Stony Point, N. C., a number of clear 
pieces of this material were found that cut fair stones weighing 
over an ounce each. In Alexander, Burke, Catawba, and adja- 
cent counties, N. C., smoky quartz crystals which would afford fine 
gems are frequently met with. They are generally from i to 5 
inches in diameter, and often of a citron or light yellow color. 

When clear, compact, •white quartz contains veins, or streaks, 
or spots of fine gold, it is w'orked into jewelry and souvenirs on 
a considerable scale in San Francisco, and to a less extent in 
many of the large towns in the mining regions. Some of the 
mines in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana have furnished 
very fine specimens, especially when the quartz is clear and the 
gold penetrates in compact stringers. Gold miners, however, 
often have a prejudice against what are known as “ specimen 
mines/’ that is, mines furnishing ore of this kind. The gold 
found in California quartz is worth about $16.50 an ounce, but 
jewelers wdllingly give from $20 to $30 for each ounce of gold 
contained in material that they can use. The price of specimens 

i Preliminary Report on the Mineralogy of Pennsylvania, p. 58 , 

5 Mineralogy of Nevada. 


is governed by their beauty, varying from $3 to $40 per ounce 
of quartz. The specific gravity of the mineral is first taken, 
after which the gold value of the quartz is ascertained by Price’s 
table. The amount of this material sold in the rough for jewelers’ 
purposes is variously estimated at from $40,000 to $50,000 a 
year, $1,000 to $2,000 worth being often purchased at one time. 
One lapidary at Oakland, Cal., where most of the cutting of this 
material is done, bought nearly $10,000 worth within a year, and 
a large jewelry firm in San Francisco, during the same time, pur- 
chased nearly $15,000 worth. In the selection of the quartz, 
great care Is necessary. The stone used must be large enough 
to bear the rough treatment of the diamond-saw and the lap- 
wheel of the polisher. All of the rock quartz is friable, and 
some of it crumbles to pieces while undergoing these processes. 
The saw, catching in the gold in the slitting, prevents the cut- 
ting of large pieces, as the wafer-like slabs are apt to be broken 
by this resistance while being detached from the mass. For this 
reason, all the pieces set in cabinet work are small. Pieces 4 by 2 
inches are quite rare, although fine pieces 4 inches square are 
at times seen. Rarely more than half of the rough material pur- 
chased finds its way into the market, owing to breakage while 
being trimmed into shape. The w r hite gold quartz of California 
is mainly supplied from the counties of Butte, Calaveras, El 
Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Tuolumne, and Yuba. 
The black gold quartz, a quite recent novelty, is found at the 
Sheep Ranch Mine, Calaveras County, and at Sutter Creek, 
Amador County. The so-called rose gold quartz is made by 
backing a translucent quartz with the desired shade of carmine 
paste, and forms an effective contrast to the opaque white and 
black gold quartz with which it is usually mounted. Single 
specimens for scarf-pins, rings, and sets of pins and ear-rings sell 
from $2 to $10 each. Exceptionally fine or curious pieces 
bring higher prices. It is within a few years that gold quartz 
has been utilized to any great extent in jewelry. At first the 
designs were usually simple and the mountings modest, but the 
demand has created a supply of elaborate designs, and at present 
the quartz is used in every conceivable form of jewelry, and in 
articles of personal adornment and decoration of almost unlimited 


variety, such as canes, paper-weights, writing-cases, perfume- 
bottles, fan-sticks, bracelets, watch-chains, and lace-pins, the lat- 
ter in such designs as shovels, picks, and other mining emblems. 
In certain new furniture, it has been used as paneling ; and here, 
as in jewelry, the effect is better brought out by added colors, 
such as are afforded by agate, moss agate, native silver in a 
matrix, smoky quartz, iron and copper pyrite, cinnabar, mala- 
chite, turquoise in the matrix, and other bright minerals. By 
slitting and piecing, as is done with malachite, an entire table- 
top can be made from a few pounds of gold quartz. Much of 
the jewelry made of this material is sold to tourists from the 
Eastern States and elsewhere. Eleven hundred dollars worth 
was purchased, some years ago, by an Asiatic embassy, and 
scarcely any one visiting California fails to secure a specimen. 
The best taste is not often exercised in the designs for this ma- 
terial. Many are too large and ungainly for personal adorn- 
ment, and others are not as well mounted as the jewelry sold 
with them. There is much room for improvement in these re- 
spects. One of the large designs made of gold quartz, represent- 
ing the .Cathedral of Notre Dame, at Paris, is valued at $20,000. 
It stands about a foot high, and is perhaps the finest piece of 
gold quartz work ever produced. A mass of gold quartz 1 
weighing 160 pounds was taken out of the bank of the Nevada 
Hydraulic Company at Gibsonville, Cal, The boulder was 
smoothly washed and had the appearance of having been ground 
in a pothole. Its estimated value was $2,500, but its real worth 
was more than this, since it was valuable for lapidary purposes. 
The gold penetrating amethystine quartz from Hungary is very 
beautiful, but the California quartz is the finest known. 

Some years ago a method was devised of fusing quartz, by 
throwing in lumps of heavily alloyed gold, and allowing the ma- 
terial to cool in molds of required shapes. It was said that the 
mingling of the metal and the quartz was complete, but the 
quartz had a milky, unnatural, glasslike appearance entirely un- 
like the gold quartz it was intended to represent. The firm of 
LeDuc, Connor & Laine, in San Francisco, applied for a patent 
for an imitation gold quartz produced by means of electricity, 

1 Jewelers' Circular, Vol. 14, p, 258, Sept., 1883, 



but found that a similar patent had been issued nearly fifty years 
earlier to a resident of New York* Though thus unable to ob- 
tain the monopoly, they undertook the manufacture of jewelers’ 
quartz, but the venture proved so unsatisfactory that they soon 
abandoned it. 

Prase is found, always crystallized, at various hmonite de- 
posits on Staten Island, N. Y. As specimens the mineral is very 
good, occurring in groups of crystals often 8 to io inches across, 
although the crystals themselves are rarely over | inch long and 
^ inch in diameter, and of no gem value. The color is generally a 
dark leek-green. William P. Blake mentions a greenish-tinged 
quartz, resembling datohte in color, from the French lode, 
Eureka District, Cal. Hoffmann, in the “ Mineralogy of Neva- 
da/’ mentions the occurrence of prase in crystals at Reese River, 
San Antonio, and occasionally on the mountains near Silver Peak. 
A translucent leek-green variety of chalcedony and quartz occurs 
in the syenitic range of the Lehigh, especially at the allanite lo- 
cality, five miles east of Bethlehem, Pa. Prase is found at 
Blue Mill, Delaware County, in doubly-terminated crystals, and 
in curious crossings and rosettes, often several inches across ; also 
in inferior specimens near Dismal Run, Delaware County. Very 
fine specimens of massive green quartz occur in Bucks County; 
in Delaware County at Radnor ; and in East Bradford Township, 
Chester County. At none of these localities is it of any value as 
a gem. 

Rose quartz occurs in large masses at Albany and Paris, 
Me. ; Southbury, Conn. ; and at many other places in the United 
States, but as yet it has not been used in the arts or as a gem. 
At Stow, Albany, Paris, and a number of other localities in 
Maine, the veins of quartz shade from white-transparent and 
opalescent, resembling hyaline quartz, often without any imper- 
fections— through faintly tinted pink and salmon into a rich rose 
color, thus forming a beautiful series of tints for gems or for 
ornamental stone-work. Specimens of this rose quartz, when cut 
into double cabochons, or sphere-shaped objects, distinctly show 
the asteria effect, similar to the star sapphire, if viewed by sun- 
light or artificial light, a peculiarity which has also been observed 
in specimens obtained from a number of other localities, Fos- 


I 2 I 

sibly as fine transparent opalescent rose quartz as has ever been 
found was obtained at Round Mountain, Albany, Me*, in pieces 
free from all flaws and of a fine rose-red, with a beautiful, milky 
opalescence, measuring 4 by 5 inches in size* A sphere 2 inches 
in diameter, a small dish, and other objects have been cut from 
this material* A vinaigrette or scent bottle was made from the 
rock crystal found in Ashe County, N. C., and exhibited at 
the World's Fair, held in Paris in 1889* (See Fig. 6.) A beauti- 
ful opalescent quartz has been found in Stokes County, N. C. 
Rose quartz is found in many localities in the granites of Colo- 

rado, also in fine specimens at the head of Roaring Fork, near 
Clear Creek, and on Bear Creek. It is mentioned by Hoffmann 
as found at Tuscarora, Moray, Carlin, and Silver Peak, Nev, ; 
and by Sweet as occurring In crystals from Grand Rapids, Wood 
County, Wis. 

Aventurine quartz has not been observed in the United 
States in fine specimens, although mentioned by Dr. Frederic M. 
Endlich as occurring on Elk Creek, Col. Prof. John Collett, of 
Indianapolis, found a few small specimens of white aventurine 
quartz pebbles in the drift near Indianapolis, Ind., in 1885* From 
near Fairfax County, Va., James W r . Heath obtained a quantity 
of quartz with many alternate green and white veinings, the green 



being produced by chloritic inclusions. When a crystal was cut 
between the lines of growth, it formed an interesting ornamen- 
tal stone. 

Novaculite is a fine, compact, sandstone -1 ike substance, found 
in large pieces at Hot Springs, Ark, and employed to a limited 
extent for cutting into figures, such as birds, for jewelry. It is ex- 
tensively used for whetstones, which have a world-wide reputation 
as “Washita whetstones/' Its compactness and the purity of 
its white color make it a very pretty ornamental stone and it 
ought to be used for this purpose. 

The true silicified corals found at Schoharie, N. Y., along 
the Catskills, and in many other localities in the United States, 
form very pretty gem stones. Some that are similar to the so- 
called fossil palm-wood from India have been observed in a 
few localities in New York State* One very interesting black 
slllcious coral form with large white markings was found at Cat- 
skill, N. Y. ; when cut across the large white columnar lines, the 
effect was very pleasing and ornamental. 

The finest chrysoprase in the United States is found in a 
vein of serpentine in the nickel mines at Nickel Mount, near the 
town of Riddles, Douglas County, Ore. Here it occurs in 
veins over an inch thick in the nickel ore, and would furnish 
stones of a rich green color several inches square. In his treatise 
on quartz and opal, Traill mentions chrysoprase from Newfane, 
Vt. ? but Prof. James D. Dana identifies this mineral as green 
quartz and not chrysoprase, although it was so-called in the local- 
ity where it was found. A fine green-colored variety intermixed 
with black hornblende, that would afford gems an inch across, was 
found in Macon County, N, C. Thomas Taber mentions 1 in a 
letter to Dr. C, A. Lee the occurrence of chrysoprase in Chester 
County, Pa., without giving any description of its quality, though 
one would infer that it was of gem quality, since Mr. Taber was 
a jeweler. Dr. Frederic M, Lndlich mentions chrysoprase as of 
rare occurrence in Middle Park, Col. William Irelan, jr., reports 
from Tulare County, Cal., beautiful semi-transparent chrysoprase 
of fine color, and Beck, in his “ Mineralogy of New York ” (Al- 
bany, 1842), describes fine specimens of chalcedony and chryso- 

1 Am. J, Sci., Vol. 38, p. 61, Oct., 1839. 



prase from Belmont’s Lead Mine, in St. Lawrence County, 
N. Y. 

The compact quartzite of Sioux Falls, So. Dak., has been 
quarried and polished for ornamental purposes. It is known and 
sold as “Sioux Falls Jasper,” and is the stone referred to by 
Longfellow in his “ Hiawatha” as being used for arrow-heads, 
when he says : 

" At the doorway of his wigwam 
Sat the ancient Arrow-maker; 

In the land of the Dacotahs, 

Making arrow-heads of jasper. 

Arrow-heads of chalcedony.” 

This stone is susceptible of a very high polish and is found 
in a variety of pleasing tints, such as chocolate, cinnamon, browm- 
ish-red, brick-red, peach-blow, and yellowish. Polishing works 
run by water-power have been erected at Sioux Falls, So. Dak., 
and so ingeniously are they contrived that pillars, pilasters, man- 
tels, and table-tops are now made here as cheaply as abroad. 
Probably $30,000 worth of the polished material was sold during 
the year of 1887. The pilasters of the German American Bank 
and the columns in the doorway of the Chamber of Commerce 
building, in St. Paul, Minn., are of this beautiful jasper. It is 
likely to become one of our choicest ornamental stones, and is 
especially effective in combination with the Minnesota red granite. 
Its great tensile strength, its high, almost mirror-like polish, the 
facts that when polished, if used for tiling, the stone is not 
slippery, one of the properties that quartz possesses, and that 
large pieces can be quarried out, and its pleasing variety of 
colors, all combine to render it one of the most desirable of build- 
ing stones. The mills are of sufficient capacity to polish $100,000 
worth a year. In view of the unequaled facility with which it 
can be prepared for use, it could be employed to advantage for 
tablets, blocks, columns, tiles for fine interior and monumental 
work, and in the more artistic branches of stone-work. Some 
good results have been obtained with the sand-blast on polished 
surfaces. The material exists in almost unlimited quantities ; the 
quarries already opened are 450 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 60 
feet deep at the lowest point. More than 1,200 carloads were 
shipped from one quarry alone during the year of 1887, and the 



result has apparently justified the large expenditure of time and 
money necessary to prepare the stone for market. 

The quartz inclusions in some varieties of minerals are of 
great beauty, and constitute an important part of the gem min- 
erals of the United States. Some of the most interesting of these, 
and some that are quite rare and little known, are given here. 

Sagcnite, “ rutile in quartz,” “ fleche d’amour ” (love’s ar- 
row) or "Venus’s hair stone,” as it is variously termed, is found 
in many places in the United States, and is often cut into oval 
seals and charms for use as jewelry. The stone gives a very 
pleasing effect in either sunlight or gaslight. As much as $500 
worth has been sold for gems and specimens in one year. The 
most magnificent specimens were found in boulders, from the 
vicinity of Hanover, N. H., during the years 1830 to 1850. 
None, however, were traced to their original locality. Three of 
these were remarkable specimens, equal in beauty and interest 
to anything known. One belonged to Dr. James R. Chilton of 
New York, and passed into the hands of William S. Vaux, of 
Philadelphia, and is now in the possession of his nephew, George 
Vaux. The rutile crystals in this specimen are of a rich red 
color, and are transparent by transmitted light, varying from the 
fineness of a needle to i of an inch in diameter. In one part of 
the mass is a series of rutile crystals united into a single form 
i of an inch wide and 5 inches long. The finest specimen found 
belongs 1 to Prof. Oliver P. Hubbard, of Dartmouth College. It 
is 6 inches long and 3 inches square, and of irregular shape. (See 
Colored Plate No. 7.) Both these pieces are evidently frag- 
ments of larger masses. The quartz itself is slightly smoky, 
almost clove-brown, and transparent, while slices cut from it are 
almost colorless, so that it is questionable whether the color is 
not due partly to the reflection from the rutile crystals, or per- 
haps to the presence of titanic acid in the quartz. The crystals 
of rutile in all these specimens vary in size from the fineness of 
a hair up to i inch in diameter, are uniformly distributed 
through the quartz, cross and intersect each other in all direc- 
tions, and are of a reddish-brown color with the lustre of polished 
copper. Of equal interest are the remarkable inclusions of ver- 

1 Proc. Am, Assort Adv. S ci. T VoL 4, p. 25, Washington* 1850* 


A Rutile in quartz, cut heart-shape [Venus' hair stone* F!&che 
d' Amour, Sagenite], Alexander County, North Carolina. 

B Smoky quartz [cairngorm stone], Alexander County, North 
Carolina* [American Museum of Natural History, 
New York City.] 

C Rutile in quartz. West Hartford, Vermont* [Hubbard Col- 


4 : 




-rtml L ' U. f A! 

« fj , , 'll*./ 

- L *> **/ v e n 

• v • 


BVgSp 1 


micular chlorite which they contain. Another piece, which was 
cut from this specimen, is in the Silliman Collection at Cornell 
University, Ithaca, N. Y. Beautiful pieces of quartz 3 by 4 
inches, and fine crystals penetrated by clove-brown and black ru- 
tile, were formerly found at Middlesex, Vt., and in 1848, when 
the cut for the Central Vermont Railroad was made through a 
perpendicular mass of talcose slate, at Waterbury, Vt., a vein or 
pocket of quartz was found containing many fine crystals of ru- 
tilated quartz. 1 Rutilated quartz of unexcelled beauty, the rutile 
usually brown, red, golden, and black, has been found in many 
places in Randolph, Catawba, Burke, Iredell, and Alexander 
Counties, N. C., and in 1888, crystals of quartz, 3 inches in length, 
and filled with rutile the thickness of a pin, were found at Stony 
Point. Beautiful series of these are in the collections of J. W. 
Wilcox and Clarence S. Rement, both of Philadelphia. Fine 
pieces of quartz, 4 inches square, containing acicular rutile of 
a rich red color, have been found near Amelia Court House, Va. 
Some fine acicular crystals of rutile in limpid quartz, now in the 
possession of Joseph Wharton, of Philadelphia, were found near 
Ringer’s, Lancaster County, Pa, At Calumet Hill Quarry, 
Cumberland, R. I., beautiful specimens of limpid milky quartz 
from 2 to 6 inches square, and also quartz crystals, at times 
f inch to 2 inches long, are found penetrated by crystals of 
black hornblende varying in thickness from a needle’s diameter 
to about tV inch, and these are at times 6 inches long, in- 
terlaced and penetrating the quartz in every direction, making 
a very beautiful gem and ornamental stone. Specimens of this 
character are preserved by the quarrymen to sell to collectors. 
Several hundred pounds of this material were sent abroad about 
1883 to be cut into jewelry at Idar and Oberstein, but as work 
has been suspended at Calumet Hill, the mineral is likely to 
become somewhat scarce. Cut specimens command prices rang- 
ing from twenty-five cents to $5 each. The specimens found 
here are quite equal to the variety found in Japan, and are even 
better adapted for use in jewelry than the remarkable trans- 
parent masses, over a foot across, procured from Madagascar, in 
which the crystals of hornblende are too large. 

1 Am. J, ScL L, VgL io, p, 14, July, 1&50, 



Thetis 1 hair stone, found by Dr, Charles T. Jackson, near 
Sneateh Pond, Cumberland, R, I., is occasionally met with in 
fair pieces and is used to a very limited extent in jewelry. It is 
transparent quartz, so completely filled with acicular crystals of 
green actinolite as to make it quite opaque. Probably $100 
worth was at one time sold annually to be cut into seals 
and charms, Acicular crystals of indicolite, somewhat re- 

sembling rutile in quartz, filling the quartz so completely as 
almost to render it opaque, were found in pieces over an inch 
square at the famous tourmaline locality, near Paris, Me* 
The mining operations at Stony Point, N. C., brought to light a 
number of crystals 4 by 3 inches, and masses of quartz 6 by 3 
inches, some of the former filled with what appears to be asbes- 
tus or byssolite, forming interesting and pretty specimens sus- 
ceptible of being cut into charms and other objects. The inclos- 
ures of what is seemingly gothite in red, fan-shaped crystals 
from North Carolina is also a beautiful and interesting gem 
stone, A fine limpid crystal of quartz, 1 inch long and § inch 
in diameter, penetrated to the depth of half a millimeter by 
fine green crystals of actinolite, is reported from Virginia, The 
so-called Gibsonville emerald was a similar crystal of quartz, 
the crystals being 3 by 2 inches. It was plowed up in a field at 
Gibsonville, N. C,, and when first found was believed to be an 
emerald* Some crystals of limpid quartz, containing particles of 
native gold, have been found in California, One of these was 
said to have been 1 inch long, and enclosed in the center was a 
scale of gold about the size of the lunula of a finger-nail. Two 
similar inclusions, though not so large, are in the possession of 
Rev* Horace C, Hovey, of Bridgeport, Conn, In Nevada 
County, Cal,, in the Grass Valley Mines, quartz is occasionally 
found supporting gold between the crystals. Pellucid crystals of 
quartz, some 1 inch long and f inch across, filled with a 
very brilliant stibnite projecting in all directions, and some of 
them curiously bent, were found at the Little Dora Mine, Ani- 
mas Forks, San Juan, Col. This material is capable of being 
made into very beautiful gems, A fine crystal 2 inches long 
and 1 Inch in diameter is in the Tiffany Collection. The crys- 
tals of quartz from the Herkimer, N, Y M North Carolina, and 



Arkansas localities, containing fluid cavitieswith moving bubbles, 
are sometimes cut into ornaments which are not only interesting 
but pretty. One of these pure limpid crystals with a crescent- 
shaped cavity, from Little Falls, N. Y., was mounted in a pair of 
gold ice-tongs to represent a cake of ice. Such crystals are val- 
ued at from $1 to $25 each. 

The fine amethyst from Rabun County, Ga., often contains 
fluid cavities nearly an inch long, and could be cut into interest- 
ing objects like those from Stow, Me. From a region twenty 
miles west of Hot Springs and extending westward for about sixty 
miles, the quartz crystals are generally all doubly terminated and 
detached, and are found loose in the sand between the breaks or 
veins in the sandstone, which in appearance strikingly resembles 
the calciferous sandstones of Herkimer, N. Y. At that part of the 
region called the “gem country” nearest Hot Springs, the crystals 
are quite white, but proceeding westward they gradually shade 
into the dark smoky color found at the other end of the district. 
The quartz is usually filled with fluid cavities. Some 400 
crystals with liquid inclusions were collected by the writer as 
the result of three days' digging. The quartz pseudomorphs 
after calcite cleavages from the locality two or three miles north- 
west from Rutherfordton, Rutherford County, N. C, frequently 
contain irregularly shaped cavities filled with water, which, if 
broken out in good shape, can be utilized as curious ornaments. 
This variety of quartz was also found by J. A. D. Stephenson in 
Iredell County. Possibly the finest specimen is one that be- 
longed to William B. Dinsmore, of New York City, and is be- 
lieved to have been found in Georgia. It is coated with a 
beautiful, bluish-white chalcedony with a curious rough surface, 
is about an inch long, and is perfect on all sides, the bubble of air 
moving freely. Its walls are so thin that the liquid with which 
it is filled weighs fully twice as much as the quartz walls them- 
selves. Among other inclusions that might be utilized for gems, 
the following maybe mentioned: Crystals of transparent quartz 
filled with specular iron found at the Sterling Mine, Antwerp, 
N. Y. ; quartz including scales of hematite from King’s Mills, 
Iredell County, N. C. ; rhomb-shaped crystals of dolomite in 
crystals of pellucid quartz from Herkimer County, N. Y. ; crys- 



tals of quartz containing crystals of green spodumene (hid- 
denite) from Stony Point, N. C.; inclosures of muscovite mica, 
that are green when viewed through the side of the prism, and 
green chlorite from several localities in Alexander County, N. C.; 
and epidote in smoky quartz from Whitson’s, near Sing Sing, 
N. Y. 

Agates are not produced in sufficient quantity in the United 
States to admit of exportation. Indeed, $2,000 would cover the 
annual production and sale here. Nearly all the agate jewelry sold 
in this country, as elsewhere throughout the world, comes from 
Oberstein and Idar, on the river Nahe in the duchy of Olden- 
burg, where the manufacture of such articles has flourished for 
over three centuries. The supplies of agate material are ob- 
tained principally from Uruguay and Brazil, in South America, 

























£ « 
c 3 

■L K 




1 U « 


« M 

HO , 

£ £* 

White, waxy lustre j- 

Pale blue to deep j 
blue \ 

Hot Springs, \ 

Ark‘ \ 

Nelson Co T , j 
Va. a f 



O'l 13 

0 ‘Q $7 

- * - - 1 







J Analyst, C + E, Wait. J>. D. Owen, 2 J. Gcal. Rep., State of Ark*; C+ E, Wait, Chemical News. Nov. 39, 1B73. 
3 Analyst, R. Robertson, F. P, Dimington , Chemical News, Oct. 31 , 1884, p, 307. 

and so extensive is this industry that it is not an uncommon 
thing to see in the tavern-yard of Idar great piles of from 10 to 
100 tons of rough agate, varying in size from a few inches to 
several feet across, ready to be auctioned off in lots to suit pur- 
chasers. Prices usually range from five cents to several dollars 
a pound, the average probably not exceeding twenty-five cents. 
Agate, chalcedony, carnelian, sard, and other varieties of the 
agate group are found in great abundance at many places in the 
United States. At Agate Bay, Lake Superior, large numbers of 
small banded agates, often of a rich red color, are found. These 
are quite extensively cut. Often the natural pebbles are polished 
all over, then drilled at one end, and sold to tourists as charms, 
or they are placed in bottles of water, to show the markings to 
the best advantage, neatly arranged according to color and size, 
and sold as mementoes. Many fine agates, some of great beauty, 



are found in Colorado and through the Rocky Mountains, but 
only a small portion are polished, as the agates from Brazil and 
Uruguay can be cut in Germany, and sold at much lower rates, 
with the result that nearly all the polished agate specimens sold 
in America are from the German market* The trap rocks 
along the Connecticut River, especially at Amherst and Conway, 
Mass*, and Farmington, East Haven, Woodbury, and Guilford, 
Conn*, occasionally afford agates of considerable beauty, though 
rarely over 3 inches across* These were the so-called chalcedonic 
balls of Torringford and are very handsome when polished; 
the rich earn el i an shades with milky translueency afford a very 
pleasing contrast* Many of these were cut into the forms of 
sealstones as early as 1837, and in the delicate arrangement of the 
layers and the richness of the colors were fully equal to any from 
abroad* At Natural Bridge, Jefferson County, N* Y*, fine agates 
have been found* The Belmont Lead Mine, in St* Lawrence 
County, has afforded some very good chalcedony* Dr. W. H* 
Horton has described white, yellow, and blue chalcedony that 
was found in masses of good size near Rellvale, Orange County, 
N. Y* 1 Chalcedony is found in Delaware County, Pa., princi- 
pally at Middletown and Marple. Brown botryoidal masses oc- 
cur at the Hopewell Mine ; also at Willistown, West Notting- 
ham, West Goshen, and London Grove Townships, in Chester 
County ; a pale variety at Cornwall, Lebanon County ; near 
Rock Spring and Wood's Mine, in Lancaster County; between 
Clay and Hamburg; also, at Flint Mill, Berks County; in 
Cherry Valley, Monroe County ; at Conshohocken, Montgomery 
County, and in other places in Pennsylvania* In many of these 
localities, especially in Delaware and Chester Counties, the resi- 
dents wear ringstones, sealstones, and other ornaments, which 
they have had cut from local material Dr. Lewis C. Beck 
in his " Mineralogy of New York ” mentions agate nodules over 
2 inches In diameter obtained from the trap rock near Paterson, 
N* J. J* C and J. B* Anthony say : " Agate is found in great 
abundance at Diamond Hill and its vicinity, and is a mixture 
composed of quartz, chalcedony, and hornstone variously arranged 
in strips, spots, or irregular figures, and is susceptible of a fine 

1 Geological Survey of New York (1840), Report on Orange County Minerals. 



polish and frequently combines a beautiful blending of colors.” 
Maryland chalcedony of a skyblue color, translucent and 
beautiful, is found half a mile east of where the Western 
Run crosses the York turnpike ; agate and carnelian, in 
thin coatings upon chalcedony, near the Jones Falls turnpike; 
also at a point four miles from Baltimore, and again on the York 
turnpike thirteen and a half miles from the same city. A rich 
fawn and salmon colored chalcedony has been found near Lin- 
ville, in Burke County, N. C., and fine agates and chalcedony 
at Caldwell’s, Mecklenburgh County, near Harrisburg and Con- 
cord, Cabarrus County, and Granville, Orange County, and in 
other localities in North Carolina. Agate pebbles are found 
all along the Mississippi River, especially in Minnesota, 
and fine pebbles of chalcedony occur plentifully five miles 
north of Grand Rapids, Wis. Agate and chalcedony are both 
found along Fox River, 111., and agate, chalcedony, and carne- 
lian near Van Horn’s Well, Tex., and near Hot Springs, 
Ark. In Pinal County, Ariz., are found large quantities of amyg- 
dules of beautifully banded agate, often coated with opal. They 
vary from i to 8 inches in diameter, and when broken are gen- 
erally light bluish-gray or light gray in color. They would be 
extremely beautiful if cut and polished. Seven miles south of 
Cisco, Utah, are extensive beds of flesh-red, pink, and salmon- 
colored agate, which received a great deal of notice by the 
press a few years ago, under the name of blood-agate. 

In Colorado, chalcedony is found eight miles south of 
Cheyenne Mountain at the Los Pinos Agency at Chalk Hills; on 
the bluffs near Wagon- Wheel Gap and along the upper Rio 
Grande Valley ; in Middle South Parks, Buffalo Park, Fair Play, 
Frying Pan, Trout Creek, Gunnison River, and frequently in 
drift accumulations. Agate is found in fine specimens lined with 
amethyst on the summit of the range of the Animas ; clouded 
white and gray in the lower trachytic formations of the Uncom- 
pahgre ; and in a variety of forms, clouded, banded, laminated, 
and variegated, at the Los Pinos Agency ; also in the drift in the 
South Park, in the Lower Arkansas Valley, on the Frying Pan, 
and throughout the Middle Park, in the form of onyx and sar- 
donyx, on the lower Gunnison and adjacent regions. William P. 


Blake mentions the occurrence of large masses of white chal- 
cedony, delicately veined and in mammillary sheets, near the 
Panoche, in Fresno County and in Monterey County, Cal. ; on 
Walker River, Nev, ; of a fine pink color near Aurora, Esmeralda 
County, Nev. ; and in pear-shaped nodules in the eruptive rocks 
between Williamson's Park and Johnson’s River, Los Angeles 
County, Cal. A very interesting form of chalcedony is found in 
the vicinity of Crawford, Darres County, Neb., where nearly all 
the narrow cavities in the large fossil bones found are entirely 
filled with cores of gray chalcedony, which are left scattered in 
great numbers over the ground when the bones are broken or 
have become weathered. It also fills all the seams in this for- 
mation, which after weathering leaves walls of chalcedony, vary- 
ing in thickness from a few inches to that of paper, projecting 
from the ground often to the height of several feet, and some- 
times extending across the country for miles. At Washougal, 
Wash., there has been found quite a variety of fine agates 
and moss agates in the form of pebbles from i to 4 inches 
in diameter. The corals and sponges of Tampa Bay, Fla., 
which are so often altered to chalcedony by the silicious 
waters, are at times filled with a fluid which was imprisoned while ' 
the regular deposition of the silica was closing the apertures that 
admitted the water. They are always lined with drusy quartz, 
as are those found in Uraguay, the so-called hydrolites, orwater- 
stones, and, if not as beautiful as the latter, they are even more 
interesting, and have been sold from $2 to $20 each. Beautiful 
pebbles of agate and chalcedony are found in abundance along 
the beach of Crescent City, Cal., and are often cut as souvenirs. 
They are usually of a light color, but delicately veined and 
marked. Beautiful little agates from Pescadero Beach in Cali- 
fornia are sold in large quantities, and in different forms, polished 
and unpolished, loose or in vials of water. Occasionally some of 
these are found enclosing, like the hydrolites from Uraguay and 
the chalcedony from Tampa Bay, Fla., a pebble moving in 
liquid. These pebbles, which may well be called sealed flasks, 
vary from tV to \ inch, and rarely are 1 inch in diameter. They are 
also found at Yaquina Bay, Ore. In the pebbly drift of the 
Colorado River the agates are more highly colored, more abun- 



da at, and of larger size. Many of the surf-worn pebbles of 
Pescadero Beach, Cal., are agate and quartz, of very fine, bright 
colors, and are occasionally utilized as gem stones. Fine agates 
have been found with the jaspers on the Willamette, Columbia, 
and other rivers in Oregon, At Tampa Bay, Fla., red and 
yellow carnelian and sardonyx result from the silicification 
of the corals and sponges, and occur in rolled pebbles on the 
beach, and although the pieces are not large, the colors are very 

The silicified bones of Atlantasaurus, a great extinct 
saurian, found at Morrison, Col., have at times a coarse cellular 
structure, which has been infiltrated with carnelian, giving a very 
pleasing effect of brilliant red stripes and spots. Chalcedony 
coats and incloses the crystallized cinnabar of the Redington and 
other mines of California ; and these crusts, if cut with the cin- 
nabar, form some of the prettiest and most interesting gem 
stones ever found. The chalcedony coatings on the blue 
and green chrysocolla found in the cavities of the Copper 
Queen Mine, Ariz., are very beautiful if cut in the same man- 
ner, (See Agatized Wood.) No stone, used in jewelry, that is 
found in the United States is cheaper, more beautiful, or more 
plentiful than the moss agate. Those found in brooks and 
streams, called “ river agates,” are the most desirable. Nearly all 
are sent abroad for cutting, and returned for home use. When 
this stone was fashionable, fine stones were worth $10 each and 
upwards, and as much as $20,000 worth was sold in a year, 
but at present they are only sold to tourists or used in the 
cheapest jewelry. The principal sources of the supply are Utah, 
Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. Large quantities of moss 
agates were found in the excavations formed in constructing the 
Omaha and Council Bluffs Bridge over the Missouri River, and 
near Cheyenne in Wyoming they are found by the ton. A so- 
called moss agate is found at Rock Springs, Lancaster County, 
and near Reading, Berks County, Pa. Moss agate was formerly 
found near Hillsborough, Orange County, N. C. The agatized 
trees from Holbrook and Specimen Mount show mosslike mark- 
ing, more like that of the fine tree-stones from Brazil or the 
Mocha stones from India than of the common moss agate. One 



curious candle-shaped stalactite of chalcedony, about 3 inches 
long, had a black core of oxide of manganese, a secondary de- 
position in a chalcedony stalactite, running through its entire 
length, at first sight scarcely distinguishable from a half-burned 
candle ; unfortunately it was cut into a number of matched stones 
for cuff-buttons, which were rendered quite unique by the black 
central dot. In the southeastern part of Humboldt County, 
Nev., are large quantities of moss agate of the dendritic 
and “ fortification ” forms. A beautiful moss agate is found in 
Trego County, Kan. (See Jasper and Moss Opal.) Moss 
agate has been little used since 1882, the sales not exceeding 
$1,000 a year. Since the introduction into cheap jewelry of the 
Chinese natural green and artificially-colored red and yellow moss 
agate, the sale of native stones has almost entirely fallen off. 

Jasper is found in many places in the United States, and in. 
a great variety of colors, though, for so common a stone, it is very 
little used in the arts, the entire annual sales not amounting to 
$500. Fine red jasper Is found on Sugar Loaf Mountain, Me., and 
a yellow variety with chalcedony has been found at Chester, 
Mass., and 'red and yellow by Dr. Horton, at Bellvale, Orange 
County, N. Y. Pebbles of a fine red color occur along the Hud- 
son River from Troy to New York, especially at Hoboken, Fort 
Lee, and Troy, where so-called jasperoid rock crops out. Jasper 
agate is found in considerable quantity at Diamond Hill, Cum- 
berland, R. I., in all shades of white, yellow, red, and green, and 
with these colors intermixed in one specimen, usually mottled, 
and at times beautifully banded in irregular seams of white, 
creamy brown, greenish, and brecciated. It is found in large 
quantities. Fully 1,000 pounds are taken away yearly by vis- 
itors and collectors, but not over $100 worth is sold in a year. 
Large pieces of fine yellow jasper are found at Tyringham, and 
elsewhere in the Berkshire Hills, Mass. In Pennsylvania jaspers 
more or less impure are abundant in the drifts of the Delaware 
and Schuylkill Rivers ; also in Berks County, near Reading ; a yel- 
lowish brown variety is found at West Goshen, Chester County, 
a reddish-brown variety near Texas, Lancaster County, and a 
brown-banded variety near Bethlehem. The arrow-heads found in 
this vicinity and near Easton are mostly made of this jasper. The 


jaspery sandstone found near Mauch Chunk might be utilized 
with advantage for large ornamental works* In North Carolina 
fine jasper, banded red and black, is found in Granville, Person 
County ; bright brick-red and yellow at Knapp's, Reed's Creek, 
Madison County; at Warm Springs; at Shut-in-Creek in Moore 
County; also in Wake County, and elsewhere. In Texas fine 
jasper has been found near Fort Davis, Jeff. Da%is County, and 
at Barela Springs, where are obtained the jasper agates called 
Texas agates. The finest jasper is found in great quantity near 
Collyer, Trego County, Kan., where there is a remarkable bed 
of the banded variety ; the colors are the various shades of red 
and yellow, with bands of white, so remarkably even that the 
stone would furnish an excellent material for cameo work, and 
should this style of jewelry come into vogue again this deposit 
may prove of considerable value ; as it is, the beautiful red and 
yellow are so strikingly relieved by the white that it makes a fine 
ornamental stone. It affords blocks over a foot in length and 6 
to 8 inches in width, and really merits the attention of workers 
in ornamental stone, as no banded jasper In the world can rival 
it, and it exists In unlimited quantities. A beautiful moss jasper, 
equal to any known, is found in this same locality, in pieces 
nearly a foot long and 5 or 6 inches in diameter. When pol- 
ished, it is exceedingly beautiful. Dr. John T. Plummer men- 
tions the occurrence, in Richmond, of “masses of beautiful breccia 
having a whitish base set with horn stone and bright red and 
other colored jasper," 1 as well as of common jasper. Fine yel- 
low, brown, and red jasper is found at the Los Pinos Agency ; 
throughout the Middle and South Parks; along the Gunnison, in 
the Dakota group; on the Arkansas, Grand, White, Animas, and 
other rivers of Colorado ; in the drift, and in some of the tra- 
chytes, mostly red, green, and brown. A very fine specimen was 
found at the junction of the Lost Trail Creek and the Rio 
Grande. Small but smoothly worn pebbles of jasper and agate 
are quite plentiful on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Cal. Red and 
green jasper are abundant in the neighborhood of San Francisco, 
where an impure variety of this stone has been used for build- 
ings and sidewalks. Red, yellow, and brown jasper is found 

1 Suburban Geology of Richmond, Ind., Am. J. Sci* L, Vol. 44, p. Jan-, 1S43. 


at Murphy’s, Calaveras County, Cal., in great variety and of su- 
perior quality. Red jasper is also found on the Little Colorado 
River, in New Mexico, and on the Willamette in Oregon. The 
latter region evidently furnished the material for the arrow-points 
of the Oregon Indians. 

Blood-stone or heliotrope in beautiful specimens, with very 
fine red markings, is found in Chatham County, Ga. Helio- 
tropes from this vicinity are in the cabinet of W. W. Jefferis, of 
Philadelphia. Heliotrope was formerly found in the veins in 
slate at Blooming Grove, Orange County, N. Y, Good speci- 
mens have been found near the Willamette River, Oregon, near 
the South Park, Col., and below the Uncompahgre, near Grand 
River. The so-called green jasper, which is really a chert of Nor- 
man’s Kill, from the Hudson River slates at Albany County, 
N. Y., was used by the Indians for arrow-points. A fine specimen 
of heliotrope or blood-stone is reported to have been found here, 
on the same authority that a similar and entirely unreliable oc- 
currence was reported in Texas, and the stones from both are 
evidently of foreign origin. 

Basanite (the Lydian stone, the touch-stone or test-stone of 
the jeweler) was found by Dr. Horton at Canterbury and Corn- 
wall, N. Y. It is also sparingly found in nearly all the drift 
north of New York City, and in that part of the Delaware River 
from Easton, Pa., down to the State line, also in many other 
parts of the United States. A beautiful spear-point, 5 inches 
long, and a number of arrow-points, made from this material, have 
been found near Statesville, N. C. 

Silicified wood, which is variously known as wood agate and 
wood opal, is found in great abundance in Colorado, California, 
and other Western States and Territories. Of its mode of for- 
mation, Prof. Joseph Le Conte 1 says : “ In a good specimen of pet- 
rified wood not only the external form of the trunk, not only the 
general structure of the stem — pith, wood, and bark — not only 
the radiating silver-grain and the concentric rings of growth are 
discernible, but even the microscopic cellular structure of the 
wood and the exquisite sculpturings of the cell-walls themselves 
are perfectly preserved, so that the kind of wood may often be 

1 Elements of Geology, p. 192- 


determined by the microscope with the utmost certainty, yet not 
one particle of the organic matter of the wood remains. It has 
been entirely replaced by mineral matter, usually some form of 
silica.” The general theory of petrifaction is derived as follows : 
When wood is soaked in a strong solution of iron sulphate (cop* 
peras), then dried, and the same process repeated until the wood 
is highly charged with this solution and then burned, the struc- 
ture of the wood will be preserved in the peroxide of iron that 
remains ; also it is well known that the smallest fissures and cavi- 
ties in rocks are speedily filled by infiltrating waters with mineral 
matters ; hence wood buried in soil soaked with some petrifying 
material becomes highly charged with the same and the cells 
filled with the infiltrating material, so that when the wood decays 
the petrifying material is left, retaining the structure of the wood. 
Furthermore, as each particle of organic matter passes away by 
decay, a particle of mineral matter takes its place, until finally all 
of the organic matter is replaced. The process of petrifaction is 
therefore one of substitution as well as of interstitial filling. 
From the different nature of the process in the two cases, it hap- 
pens that the interstitial filling always differs, either in chemical 
composition or in color, from the substituting material. Thus 
the structure remains visible, although the mass is solid. Prof. 
James D. Dana offers the following explanation of the phe- 
nomenon. “ The wood or often trunks of trees, and sometimes 
standing forests, which have been petrified in the Rocky Moun- 
tain region, have in general been buried under volcanic debris, 
which constitutes beds of great extent in many regions. This 
volcanic material, called tufa, undergoes partial alteration 
through the action of the waters or moisture it may contain, 
or that may filtrate through it. In this alteration or partial 
decomposition much silica is set free, and makes the waters 
or moisture silicious. The sihcious solution then made pen- 
etrates the wood that is buried in the tufa. Very slowly 
the silica is deposited in all the cells of the wood ; and as 
the wood decomposes, silica takes the place of the particles 
of the fibres until finally the wood becomes wholly silica or 
quartz.” Concerning the color, he adds that the brownish-yellow 
is limonite, which if heated will turn red. Among the great 


American wonders is the silicified forest, known as Chalcedony 
Park, situated about eight miles south of Corrizo, a station on 
the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, in Apache County, Ariz. The 
country formation is sandstone on volcanic ash, and the trees are 
exposed in gulches and basins where the water has worn the 
sandstone away, or are buried beneath the sandstone, their ends 
protruding from between the formations. (See Illustration.) 
The locality was noticed in 1853 by the Pacific Railroad Explor- 
ing Survey. The jasper and agate generally replaced the cell- 
walls and fibres, and the transparent quartz filled the cells and 
interstices, especially where the structure was broken down 
by decay. These cell-centers and cavities produced conditions 
favorable not only for the deposition of silica as quartz, but also 
for the formation of the drusy crystalline cavities of quartz and 
amethyst that so increase the beauty of the material. There is 
every evidence to show that the trees grew beside some inland 
sea. After falling they became water-logged, and during decom- 
position the cell structure of the wood was entirely replaced by 
silica from sandstone in the walls surrounding this great inland 
sea. Major John W. Powell, who has visited all these regions, 
says: “The wood consisted of logs water-rolled before burial, 
and are now gradually weathering out of their matrix. The en- 
closing rock is sandstone and cretaceous shale of the series known 
as Jura-trias and lying immediately above the Chinarump. 
Agatized wood containing much semi-opal has been formed in 
California (and possibly in Arizona) under volcanic deposits, but 
the wood in question is not associated with volcanic material ; its 
matrix is sedimentary.” 

The red and yellow coloring matter is derived from the 
oxide of iron in the sandstone, which is red, and the black may 
be due to partial carbonization or to oxide of manganese. The 
bark in nearly every case has been decayed before silicification, 
and even part of the other layers of the tree is often gone ; but 
the difference between the oxidation on the surface and inside is 
that the surface, to the depth of half an inch, is so altered and 
changed that it has the appearance of bark, and it is generally 
supposed to be such. 

There is every indication that the deposit is of considerable 

•t T 1 

depth. Over the entire area, trees lie scattered in all conceiva- 
ble positions and in fragments of all sizes, the broken sections 
sometimes resembling a pile of cartwheels. A tree 150 feet in 
length is often found split into as many sections, of almost 
uniform length, presenting the appearance of having been 
sawn asunder for shingle-blocks by some prehistoric forester ; 
or broken into countless fragments, ranging from the size of 
a small pebble to that of a fair-sized boulder, also fractured 
into perfect-shaped cubes, as if cut by a lapidary. These 
multiplied fractures are the result of alternate heat and cold, 
produced by atmospheric changes, acting on the water col- 
lected in fissures of the tree. A phenomenon perhaps unpar- 
alleled, and the most remarkable feature of the park, is a natural 
bridge formed by a tree of agatized wood spanning a cafion 
45 feet in width. (See Illustration.) In addition to the span, 
fully 50 feet of the tree rest on one side, making it visible for a 
length over 100 feet. Both ends of the tree are imbedded in the 
sandstone. It averages 3^- feet in diameter, — 4 feet at the thick- 
est part and 3 at the smallest. Where the bark does not adhere 
the characteristic colors of jasper and agate are seen. Although 
the wood is beautiful to the naked eye, a microscope is needed to 
reveal its greatest charms ; not only does the glass enhance the 
brilliancy of the colors, but it renders visible the structure, which 
has been perfectly preserved even to the forms of minute cells, 
and is more beautiful now than before the transformation. Dr. 
P. H. Dudley examined microscopically some sections of this 
wood, and found that part of it at least belongs to the genus 
Araucaria, one species of which. Araucaria excelsa, the Norfolk 
Island pine of the South Pacific Ocean, according to the same 
authority, grows to a height of from 100 to 200 feet Other 
portions were found to resemble our red cedar, Juniperus Virgin- 
iana, when grown in the extreme south. The cell-structure of 
some of the wood indicates growth in a mild, uniform climate, 
the annual rings being marked only by one, two, three or more 
slightly smaller hexagonal or rounded, not tabular, cells as is 
usually the case. The name “ chinarump ” has been suggested 
for this substance by Major John W. Powell, this being the Indian 
name for the material. These trees, according to one of the In- 



dian myths, were believed to be the bolts of the arrows used by 
their god. It has been extensively used by them in making 
spear and arrow-points. 

William H. Holmes, of the United States Geological Survey, 
thus describes the locality in Utah known as Amethyst Mountain, 
opposite the valley of Soda Butte Creek : “ Riding up the trail, a 
multitude of bleached trunks of the ancient forests are discerned. 
... In the steeper middle portion of the mountain face, rows 
of upright trunks stand out on the ledges like the columns of 
a ruined temple, on the more gentle slopes, farther down ; but 
where it is still too steep to support vegetation, save a few pines, 
the petrified trunks fairly cover the surface and were at first taken 
to be the shattered remains of a recent forest. The exposures 
of strata in the first 300 or 400 feet at the base are not good, and 
but few of the sihcified trunks appear above the covering of veg- 
etation. At the height of 500 feet the occurrences become very 
numerous, and the great size and fine preservation of many of the 
trunks was a matter of much surprise. Prostrate trunks 40 and 
50 feet in length are of frequent occurrence, and not a few of 
these are 5 or 6 feet in diameter. The standing trunks are gen- 
erally rather short, the degradation of the compact inclosing 
strata being so slow that the brittle trunks break down almost as 
fast as they are exposed, and in many cases the roots are exposed 
and may be seen penetrating the now solid rock with all their 
original ramifications. One upright trunk of gigantic proportions 
rises from the inclosing strata to the height of 12 feet. (See 
Illustration.) By careful measurement it was found to be 10 feet 
in diameter, and as there is nothing to indicate to what part of 
the tree the exposed section belonged, the roots may be far below 
the surface, and we are free to imagine that there is buried there 
a worthy predecessor of the giant Sequoias of California. Al- 
though the trunk was hollow, and partly broken down on one 
side, the woody structure was perfectly preserved ; the grain was 
straight and the circles of growth distinctly marked. The bark, 
which still remains on the firmer parts, was 4 inches thick and re- 
tained very perfectly the original deeply-lined outer surface. It 
was clear, however, that the tree is not a conifer. The strata 
inclosing the trunk consisted chiefly of fine-grained sandstones, 


indurated clays, and moderately coarse conglomerate, and con- 
tained many vegetable remains, such as branches, rootlets, fruits, 
and leaves. In the stratum of sandstone occupying the horizon, 
nearly on a level with the present top of the giant tree, there 
was a large variety of most perfectly preserved leaves, speci- 
mens of which were determined by Leo Lesquereux to belong 
to the lower Pliocene or upper Miocene, and similar to the Chalk 
Bluff, Cal., specimens of Prof. Josiah D. Whitney. At a point 
about a mile further east, trunks and fragments of trunks were 
found in great numbers and in all conceivable positions. In 
most cases the woody structure was well preserved, but the 
trunks had a tendency to break in sections, and on the exposed 
ends the lines of growth from center to circumference could be 
counted with ease. In many cases the wood was completely 
opalized or agatized, and cavities existing in the decayed trunks 
were filled with crystals of quartz and calcite. Nearly all of 
the crystals found in the West have been formed in the hollow 
of silicified trees, notably in the case of the smoky quartz found 
in the Pike’s Peak Region in Colorado. Gen, William T. 
Sherman, while visiting Fort Wingate, N. M., during his trip 
across the continent, in the autumn of 1878, suggested to the of- 
ficer in charge of that post the desirability of securing several 
large trunks of these fossil trees, found in that vicinity, for the 
United States National Museum. In the following spring an ex- 
pedition was sent out for this purpose, under the direction of 
Lieut. J. T. C. Hegewald, who states that in the locality of Litho- 
dendron Valley, where they were procured, the soil was com- 
posed chiefly of clay and sand, and the petrified wood, broken 
into millions of pieces, lay scattered around the slopes of the 
valley. Some of the large fossil trees were well preserved, though 
the alternate action of heat and cold had broken most of them 
in sections from 2 to 10 feet long, and certain of these he re- 
garded as having been immense trees. On measuring the ex- 
posed parts of several, it was found that they varied from 150 to 
200 feet in length and from 2 to 4^ feet in diameter, and their 
centers often contained beautiful quartz crystals. A microscopic 
examination shows the internal structure of all to have been 
tolerably well preserved, the cells having suffered but little from 


the pressure to which the trunks had been subjected. They all 
belong to the genus Araucarioxylon, and probably are of the 
same species. The two from Lithodendron Valley are absolutely 
identical in structure, and that from Fort Wingate is referred 
provisionally to the same species, although it lacks some of the 
essential characteristics. Some eight specimens were collected 
near Estherville, la., consisting of fragments, completely chai- 
cedonized and stained a yellowish-brown color, of which the 
largest were only 6 inches in length and 4 in diameter. They 
were regarded by Prof. W J McGee as belonging to the Creta- 
ceous age. Although found in the drift, the Cretaceous strata, from 
which it was originally derived, formerly extended over contigu- 
ous parts of Minnesota and were largely removed by glacial ero- 
sion during the Quaternary period. Specimens from Martin 
County, Minn., could not be distinguished from those obtained 
in Emmet County, la. Near Barrel Springs, in the Green 
River basin of Wyoming, Samuel F. Emmons, of the United 
States Geological Survey, found a silicified tree, the structure of 
which was admirably preserved, being filled in, wherever the 
wood had decomposed, with crystals of quartz. It was from 
3 to 4 feet in diameter, and was exposed for 18 feet; both ends 
were imbedded in the soft earth of the Bridger beds of the 
Eocene formation. 

Agatized wood in large quantities, consisting of trees from 
12 to 35 feet in length and from 18 inches to 2 feet in diameter, has 
been found near Calistoga in Napa County, Cal. Specimens of 
agatized and opalized wood from the vicinity of Gallatin, Mont, 
were collected by Dr. Albert C. Peale and George P. Merrill, 
and later by Frank H. Knowlton, of the United States Geological 
Survey, who described it as white, banded and streaked with 
black and yellowish-brown. Although badly decomposed, it ap- 
peared to be dicotyledonous. From several specimens, camera- 
drawings were secured that resembled known forms of Betuli- 
nium and Quercinium, or representations of our modern beech 
and oak. Of specimens from the Yellowstone Park, examined 
similarly, some were found to be dicotyledonous and some conif- 
erous, the latter mostly Cupressinoxylon, or fossil Sequoia. 

The amount of silicified wood found in Apache County, 

I4 2 


Ariz., is estimated as high as a million tons, but the material 
suitable for decorative purposes is comparatively small in 

This material was selected to form the base of a beautiful 
silver testimonial made by Tiffany & Company for presentation 
to the French sculptor, Bartholdi. It was chosen on account of 
its superior hardness, and the warmth and pleasing combination 
of its colors ; also, as the designer remarked, it was eminently 
fitting that the testimonial should rest “ on a solid American 
base." The problem of polishing this exceedingly hard material 
having been solved,' its application for decorative purposes nat- 
urally follows. The combinations of color offer a great field for 
interior designs. In tiling floors, for mantels, and similar pur- 
poses, it is most valuable ; for clock-cases and table-tops it also 
promises to take an important place, defying imitation, by rea- 
son of its marvelous colorings, close texture, and remarkable 
polish ; and in the future the material may be worked into dec- 
orative columns for the interior of fine houses. The lustre of 
its finish cannot be marred or impaired by metal or acid, except 
hydrofluoric acid, with which it may be etched in the same way 
as glass. A column i foot in diameter and 2 feet long, bored 
out of the section of a tree across the grain of the wood, so as 
to display the heart in the center, was exhibited in New York 
City and was considered the most beautiful of all the polished 
specimens thus far shown. Smaller articles of jewelry, mosaic 
work, paper-weights, paper-cutters, toilet articles, handles for 
canes and umbrellas, and similar objects made from this material 
may find a ready sale. A number of pieces of this material was 
placed on exhibition during the early part of 1889, and attracted 
considerable notice from those interested in American minerals. 

Opal showing a brilliant play of rainbow colors, either of the 
noble or of the fire opal variety, has been observed in the 
United States only, near John Davis River, in Crook County, 
Ore. The specimen found there is transparent, grayish-white in 
color, with red, green, and yellow flames. The play of colors 
equals in beauty that of any Mexican material, and it is the first 
opal found in the United States that exhibits color. It strikingly 

1 See Lapidary Work, 


resembles and has the absorptive properties of tabasheer, the 
variety of opal which is formed in the joints of the bamboo, and 
which is used in India for medicinal purposes. Undoubtedly, 
better material of the kind exists where this was found. The 
opals sold so extensively at tourists’ resorts are generally of Mexi- 
can origin. A beautiful fire opal without any opalescence occurs 
in a small vein about { inch thick and 2 inches square, from 
Washington County, Ga.; this locality was first described by 
Prof. George J. Brush of the Sheffield Scientific School, and 
he has the finest piece of this opal in his cabinet. Common opal 
in small masses of a greenish and yellowish-white color, with 
vitreous lustre, is found at Cornwall, Lebanon County, Pa., also 
at Aguas Calientes, Gilson Gulch, Idaho Springs, Col., of a 

















j 1 t 





Prismatic (Fire Opatj, 

Washington Co. T Ga. 



O' 02 


G. j. Brush. 1 

1 G. J. Brush T Dana, Mineralogy, 5th Ed, p. 200. 

brownish color in narrow seams in the granite. J. W. Beath 
of Philadelphia, Pa., states that he had seen fine opal specimens 
showing play of colors, reported to have come from the latter 
place. William P. Blake 1 writes that a rich white variety of opal 
is found at Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras County, Cal. ; and on the 
elevation near that place known as Stockton Hill, on the west side 
of Chile Gulch, a shaft had been sunk 345 feet, and opals were 
found there in a thin stratum of red gravel varying from the size 
of a kernel of corn to that of a walnut, and many of them con- 
taining dendritic infiltrations of oxide of manganese resembling 
moss. These stones were erroneously supposed to have consid- 
erable market value, and in 1866 about a bushel of them were 
raised to the surface in a day. A milky variety, similar to the 
above and without fire, is found with magnesite on Mount Diablo, 
Cal., thirty miles south of the mountain ; also in the foothills of 
the Sierra at the Four Creeks. Yellow fire opals in small nodules 
not over an inch in diameter, from Mount Pleasant, Bergen 

1 Catalogue of California Minerals (1866) p. 18. 

i 4 4 


Hill, N. J., 1 were described by the writer. Common opal has been 
found at Sheffield, Mass. Semi-opal is found together with chal- 
cedony at the Los Pinos Agency and in trachyte north of Sagua- 
che Creek, Col., and coating agate, in Pima County, Ariz,, and 
also at other localities in the United States. Nodules from i to 
4 inches in diameter, consisting of dead-white fire-opal filled with 
dendritic moss-like markings of beautiful moss-opal are found in 
South Park, Col. A fine moss-opal, in pieces 3 to 4 inches 
across, is also found in Trego County, Kan. A white opaque 
variety of hydrophane, in rounded lumps, from 5 millimeters to 25 
millimeters (| to 1 inch) in diameter, with a white, chalky or glazed 
coating, somewhat resembling the cacholong from Washington 
County, Ga., has recently been brought from Colorado. It is 
quite remarkable for its power of absorbing liquid. When water 
is allowed to drop slowly on it, it first becomes very white and 
chalky, and then, gradually, perfectly transparent. This property 
is developed so strikingly that the finder has proposed for it the 
name “Magic Stone,” and has suggested its use in rings, lockets, 
charms, etc., to conceal photographs, hair, or other objects which 
the wearer wishes to reveal only when his caprice dictates. Speci- 
mens were examined by Prof. Arthur H. Church of Kew, Eng- 
land, and he proved that the volumes of the dry and the wet 
mineral were identical by weighing the bulk of mercury displaced 
in both instances. His experiments were made in a small, flat- 
bottomed glass cup having a polished edge and accurately covered 
with a smooth glass plate. The mean weight of mercury dis- 
placed in five concordant experiments was 7*415 grams, which 
figure, corrected for temperature, showed the specific gravity of the 
hydrophane was, when dry, 1*056, when wet, 1*545. The increase 
in specific gravity is due to the replacement of the original inter- 
stitial air of the mineral by water. From the above calculations it 
is further determined that the specific gravity of the opal, free from 
air, is 2*14. The wet opal contained 47*75 per cent, by weight of 
water, and 52*25 per cent, by weight of silicic hydrate; hence 
the mineral absorbed rather less than half its bulk of v : ater. The 
specific gravity of several specimens furnished the writer 5 the fol- 

1 Trans, N. Y, Acad, Sci,, Nov,, iSSS. 

5 Am, }♦ Sci« 7 IIL, Vol. 34, [>, 479, Dec., iSSjl 


lowing results: Nos. 1-3 were slabs 2 millimeters thick (i\ inch), 
No. 4 was a natural lump with glazed coating. This stone is iden- 
tical with one brought from China, several centuries ago, and de- 
scribed by De Boot, DeLaet, Boyle, and others, as the Oculus 
Mundi, or World’s Eye, and as the Lapis Mutabilis. When wet, it 
became entirely transparent, except a central nucleus, possibly a 
core of chalcedony, that remained white. If the central core was 
black, evidently oxide of manganese, the stone was called Oculus 
Beli. Hoffmann mentions opalized wood in magnificent colors 
at San Antonio, Nye County, Nev., and states that on breaking 
some of the large trunks fine specimens were obtained. Fine large 
sections of trees altered to wood opal are found at Buena Vista, 
Col. The color varies from white to brown, and the structure 

of the wood 

is preserved. 

In the hydraulic mines 

of California, 













r 34 2 



2*1 TO 


















and at Murphey's 

in the 

same State, 

large and very' beautiful 

masses of opalized wood, of fine brown, yellow, and black colors, 
have frequently been found. 

Hyalite, or Muller’s Glass, as it is called, occurs on the trap- 
rock at Weehawken and Orange, N. J. ; with chalcedony at sev- 
eral localities in Yavapai County, Ariz. ; at the Philips ore bed, 
Putnam County ; with cachalong at Bellvale, Orange County, 
N. Y .; in Burke County, N. C, and Screven County, Ga.; in yel- 
low fluorescent coating upon gneiss at Frankford, Pa. ; at Avon- 
dale, Delaware County, Pa., in bluish-green ; on the Wissa- 
hickon River in Pennsylvania ; at Concord, Cabarrus County, 
and at the Culsagee Mine, Macon County, N. C. Associ- 
ated with semi-opal, it is mentioned as occurring in the Mount 
Diablo Range about thirty miles south of Mount Diablo. It has 
also been found at Volcano Pass, Larimer County, Col. At none 
of these places, however, is it found in masses thick enough to af- 
ford even a mineralogical gem, and commercially it has no value. 

Duringthe survey of the Yellowstone National Park, in 1872, 
by Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden, United States Geologist, a large 



number of geyserites and kieselsinter were collected by different 
members of the party. Some of these specimens resemble the 
kieselsinter from Iceland, but in their general character they dif- 
fer from anything heretofore found. The analyses show but lit- 
tle variation from those of other localities. Near the cone of the 
Giant Geyser, on theupper Geyser Basin of Fire Hole River, Dr. 
Albert C. Peale, assistant geologist to Doctor Hayden’s survey, 
found near the base of the crater, apparently running through in 
nearly horizontal layers, a peculiar variety of geyserite, similar in 
some respects to the opal, which was named “ pealite ” after the 
discoverer. It occurs in irregular tablets, sometimes with scal- 
loped surfaces. It is claimed that the position taken by this 
mineral, between quartz and opal, according to its chemical and 
physical characters, and the variance it shows from other geyser- 
ites and kieselsinter, justifies its distinction from them by a spe- 
cific name. Although some specimens closely resemble semi-opal, 
it seems improbable that opal could be formed in the same way. 
They might well be used for small, odd ornaments, mounted as 
they are found, without any cutting. 


Spodumene (Hiddenite), Smaragdite, Diopside, Rhodonite, Enstatite and Bronzite, 
Wollaston it e, Crocidolite, Willemite, Vesuviamte, Allanite, Gadolimte, Epidote, 
Zoisite* Axinite, Danburite, lolite, Lepidolite, Scapolite, Cancrinite* 

Socialite, Elseolite, Lapis Lazuli, 

T RANSPARENT spodumene has been found in two lo- 
calities in the United States, the variety hiddenite or 
“ lithia emerald,” at Stony Point, Alexander County, 
N. C., and an amethystine colored variety at Branch- 
ville, Conn, The only variety that has gem value is that from 
North Carolina, (For a history of the locality, see Emerald.) 
About 1879, some crystals of yellow and yellowish-green mineral, 
supposed to be diopside, were found at Stony Point, Alexander 
County, N. C., associated with beryl, quartz, rutile, garnet, dolo- 
mite, etc. Shortly after their discovery, these crystals came into 
the hands of J. A. D. Stephenson of Statesville, N. C., who sent 
the best of them to Norman Spang of Pittsburgh, Pa. About 
two years later Mr. Stephenson called the attention of William 
E. Hidden to this mineral, and to the locality ; Mr. Hidden then 
sent specimens for examination to Dr. J. Lawrence Smith, who 
immediately discovered that the mineral was not diopside but a 
transparent variety of spodumene. The crystals were first found 
loose in the soil with emeralds, but systematic mining revealed 
them in attached veins of the walls of the rock. The spodu- 
mene is generally more or less altered, hence its pitted or 
eaten-out appearance ; but when found in the rock, the crystals 
are quite perfect and unchanged. The mineral, which is always 


transparent, ranges from colorless (rare), to a light yellow, into 
yellowish-green, then into deep yellow emerald-green* Sometimes 
an entire crystal has a uniform green color, but generally one end 
is yellow and the other green. Its hardness is on the prism faces, 
6*5, and across them, according to Doctor Smith, nearly that of 
the emerald; but a series of experiments proved it to be some- 
what less. At first considerable difficulty was experienced in 
cutting it, owing to its remarkably perfect prismatic cleavage, 
which is very lustrous. Gems have, however, been cut up to 21- 
carats in weight Specific gravity, 3*18 to 3*194. 

The yellow color exhibited by the mineral in even the dark* 
est green gems will prevent it from competing with the emerald, 
since it is this very quality that has kept down the prices of the 
Siberian demantoids, or Uralian emeralds, as the green garnets 
are variously termed. The finest crystal of lithia-emerald ever 
found is in the Bement Collection* (See Colored Plate, 
No. 5.) It measures inches (68 millimeters) by ^ inch (14 
millimeters) by $ inch (8 millimeters)* One end is of very fine 
color, and would afford the largest gem yet cut from this mineral, 
weighing perhaps 5^ carats. In Dr. Augustus C. Hamlin's cabi- 
net is a fine gem weighing about 2 carats, and a cut stone of fine 
color and a good crystal are in the collection of Col. W. A* 
Roebling, Dr. J. Lawrence Smith 1 says that the crystals, when 
cut and polished, resemble the emerald in lustre, though the color 
is not so intense as in the finer variety of the latter gem. Prof. 
Edward S. Dana says that, owing to itsdichroism, it has a peculiar 
brilliancy which is wanting in the true emerald. Thomas T* Bouve, 
of Boston says : “One might infer from the statement made of the 
greater brilliancy of both the hiddenite and garnet, when com- 
pared with the emerald, that this should decide their relative 
beauty; but it is not the case, for the emerald has a beauty of its 
own, in its deep and rich shade of color, that will ever make it 
rank at least an equal in loveliness with the newer aspirants for 
favor.” 5 When the gem was first introduced, it had a consider- 
able sale because of its novelty as an American gem and because 
of the newspaper notoriety it gained through the controversy 

1 Am. J, Sci. III., Vol. 21, p. 128, Feb., 18S1. 

s Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. 23, p. 2, Jan. 2, 1884. 


that arose as to its discovery* Hence for a time the demand 
exceeded the supply, which, from the desultory working of the 
mine, was limited. Thus a 2I carat stone was sold for $500, and 
a number of stones brought from $40 to over $100 a carat. 
The total sale of all the gems found, from the beginning of oper- 
ations in August, 1880, to the close of 1888, amounted to about 
$7,500, the yield in 1882, during which the preparatory work 
was done, being about $2,000. At the time of the discovery, 
this was supposed to be the first occurrence of transparent spodu- 
mene : but Pisani, in the Comptes Rendus for 1877, announced 
a transparent yellow spodumene that had been found at Minas 
Geraes, Brazil, where it exists in large quantities and has been 
extensively sold as chry sober yl. The writer saw nearly a ton of 
broken crystals of this mineral at Idar, Germany, in 1881, whither 
it had been sent for cutting* A stone from Brazil weighing 
1 carat is in the United States National Museum, as also a series 
of crystals and cut stones from North Carolina. At Branchville, 
Conn., spodumene is found in crystalsq or 5 feet long and afoot 
in diameter, almost entirely altered to other minerals* In spots, 
however, it is transparent enough to furnish small gems of an 
amethystine color. The alterations which have taken place have 
entirely changed it to what might almost be called a defunct 
gem ; otherwise, this material would have afforded gems over 
an inch In thickness and several Inches in length* The color be- 
fore the alteration was probably much richer pink, 1 * It is of min- 
eralogical value only. 

Smaragdite is believed to be a variety of hornblende, and 
occurs plentifully at Cullakenee Mine, Clay County, N. C. In 
color it is bright emerald, grass-green, also grayish and greenish 












d 6 

£ K 



rt sr. 












Grass green . , 
Light green. . 

Cullakenee Mine, N. CA, 

North Carolina. 5 

45' *4 
45' 7° 

*7 59 
34 'qi 

0 79 

4 5$ 


8 "03 







1 Hardness, S r 5i Specific Gravity, 3’i3, Analyst, T. M. Chatard. F. A. Genth f Proc. Am, Phil. Soc. h 1873, Vol, 13, 361 to 407. 
1 Analyst, J, L. Smith, j. L. Smith* Am. J, ScL (3), 6 . 1S4, fZoizitc — Smith* Smaragdite — Genth.) 

1 See On Spodumene and its Alterations, by Alexis A. Julien, Ann., N. V* Acad. Sci., 

Vol. I., p. 318, 1879. 


gray, Masses through which the pink and ruby corundum occur 
disseminated, are exceedingly beautiful* The mineral is hard 
enough to admit of a fine polish and is worthy of attention as 
an ornamental or decorative stone* 

Diopside, a variety of pyroxene, is found in the township of De 
Kalb, St, Lawrence County, N* Y*, as short, stout, oily-green 
crystals, in color resembling the crystals from Piedmont, Ala, 
Parts in these have been found sufficiently large and clear to be 
cut into gems weighing from 6 to 8 carats each, and recently 
crystals have been obtained which in size and perfection rival any 
found in the world ; some of these will furnish gems of 12 to 15 
carats each* This is the only known locality in the United 















« * 








Blue* large crystals. 
Grayish green — ... 

Sc. Lawrence Co,* N. Y. [ . . . . 
Edenville, Orange Co** N. Y , 2 
New Haven, Conn. 3 

55 + oi 
53 ' *34 

1 "062 








e 6 j 95 


o *45 




o- 4 6S 

1 Analyst, E. S. Starry. This analysis was made by Mr* n + $, Sperry under the direction of Dr. S, L, Penfield, in connection 
with some work for the u. S. Geologica I Survey, And is published with the consent of the Director of the If. S. Geological Survey, 

2 Specific Gravity, 3-394. Analyst, Rammclsbcrg. R am m eliberp, Mberatehcmie, p. 386. 

* Specific Gravity, 3-137-3-394. Analyst, Geo. T. Bowen. Geo. T. Bowen, Am. J* Sci. fi>. 5, 344.— Vai* SAHLITE, 

States where this gem is found. At Richville, in the township 
of De Kalb, some very large crystals were found in 1884, several 
of which were over 3 inches long and 1 inch thick, with clear 
spots of gem material giving promise of cut gems weighing 20 
to 30 carats each. The crystals generally averaged an inch 
in length. Associated with the garnets of Fort Defiance, 
Ariz., Gallup, N. M., and other localities in that part of the 
country, and in the detritus resulting from the decomposition of 
the peridotite in Elliott County, Ky., small pieces of almost 
emerald-green diopside are found, evidently a chromium diop- 
side similar to that found with South African diamonds. They 
are generally too small to afford gems of any value, but a few 
pieces have been found that are of sufficient size for very small 

Rhodonite, a silicate of manganese, has been found in an 
extensive bed at Blue Hill Bay, Me., on Osgood’s Farm, Mass., 
and in the neighboring towns; in Warwick, Mass.; in Irasburgh 

I 5 2 


and Coventry, Vt,; near Winchester and Hinsdale, N. H.; and 
at Cumberland, R. I. The Alice Mine at Butte City, Mont., has 
produced a large quantity of rhodonite associated with rhodo- 
crosite, which has been used to some extent as a gem stone. 
It has recently been described by Prof. William N. Rice as occur- 
ring at White Rocks, Middletown, Conn., but only in a limited 

The variety of rhodonite known as fowlerite has been found at 
Franklin, N. J., in groups of rich, flesh-colored crystals finer than 


Chemical Composition 






> . 


u a 

3 ^ 




















“ a 

i 2 

u to 


^ a 

j ' 

- * tiD 





*4 - 
< to 


U 2 

Silica * . . 

Manganous Oxide 

Ferrous Oxide * 

Manganic Oxide . . 




3 r '5z 



1 5*54 


7 ‘94 






2*25 1 

20" 66 









Peroxides of Iron and 
Alumina ****** 

Zinc Oxide * 

Lime . . * . . 



Carbonic Acid. * . * 

S «5 
4 ' 5 ° 





Brown Red 




S' i° 
6 1 30 
2*8 1 

Color ,*,.... 

Gray Bl H ck 
to IJiack, 






3* 6 5 

Hardness * . . 

Specific Gravity. *,,*.... 

1 Typical Analysis* Dana Mineralogy, 5th Ed,, i Hermann, Jmir* fiir pr. Ch., 42, 6. 

p. aafi. Hermann. * A, Schltcfer, Dana Mineralogy, 5th Ed,, p* sad. 

* A, H, Chester, Jahrb* fiir Min. j$ 3 S s Bd, i, 1 Rammclsbcrg, Mineral Che mic (1875), p. 354, 
p. 387. 

ever before known, some of them being 6 or 7 inches thick, form- 
ing groups a foot across. Although of value for gem material, it 
possesses higher mineralogical value. More than $1,000 worth 
was sold for specimens during the year of its discovery. The 
rhodonite of Cummington, Mass., of the richest flesh and light 
red color, was only found in boulders previous to 1887, when it 
was traced to the ledge by W. W. Chapman. Blocks were taken 
out weighing some hundreds of pounds each, having a rich pink 
and red color, and with large surfaces entirely free from streaks 
of black oxide and in other places beautifully mottled ; they were 


equal in quality and beauty to the Russian rhodonite, which is 
made into vases and also table-tops and mantels. This material 
has recently been used very effectively in combination with un- 
polished or stone-finished silver, as handles for very fine orna- 
ments, the rose-color streaked with black affording a pleasing 
contrast. Its hardness is only 6*5 , but it is nearly as tough as 
jade. In Russia it is largely used as a gem and ornamental stone 
for jewelry, jewel caskets, tables, mantels, and altars and pillars 
of churches. 

Enstatite and bronzite occur in many localities in the United 
States. The best varieties are found half a mile west of 
Texas, Pa., in beautiful massive foliated varieties. Bronzite 
was observed by Prof. Frederick A. Genth, in Pennsylvania, 
near Crump’s serpentine quarry ; near Media, in Middletown Town- 
ship ; in Marple Township, forming the mass of country rock ; in 
Newtown Township ; and near Radnor, Delaware County. 
Bronzite and enstatite are also found in large quantities at Bare 
Hills, near Baltimore, Md. If cut across the fibres, it shows 
a cat’s-eye effect, but it is not fine enough to furnish gems 
for commerce. 

A very interesting form of wollastonite, found by C. D. 
Nimms near Bonaparte Lake, Lewis County, N. Y., is described 
by Dr. Samuel L. Penfield. It occurs in distinct crystals and in 
all gradations to the fibrous form, and varies in color from a white 
to a faint yellowish pink. It has nearly the toughness and 
hardness of jadeite, and might be mistaken for Chinese jade. 

Crocidolite was observed by Joseph Wilcox in long, 
delicate fibres of a blue color, in one of the western counties of 
North Carolina. Theodore D. Rand found a dark-bluish fibrous 
mineral at the Falls of the Schuylkill, and T. W. Roepper found 
it at Coopersburgh, Lehigh County, Pa., associated with white and 
brownish-white garnet and bluish-white crystalline fibrous coat- 
ings, which may belong here. It also occurs at Eland Fountain, 
Orange County, N. Y. Prof. Albert H. Chester, of Hamilton 
College, published analyses of the crocidolite from Beacon Hill 
Cumberland, R. I., a very interesting variety of this mineral 
though not in gem form. 1 It has not been found in gem form in 

1 See Am. J. Sci, III*, Vol. 34, p* 10$, Aug., 1S87* 



the United States. The altered tiger-eye variety from the 
Orange River, South Africa, has been sold in polished specimens, 
charms, umbrella handles, etc., at Pike’s Peak and other places 
as domestic crocidolite ; it is also extensively sold as a variety of 
petrified wood. 

Willemite (anhydrous silicate of zinc) has been found at 
Franklin, N. J., sufficiently transparent to make a very fair gem. 
The color is a rich honey-yellow, in shade between the topaz and 
the chrysoberyl from Brazil, having, however, the vitreous lus- 
tre of the Tavetsch titanite. One crystal furnished a number of 
gems over 8 carats in weight, which are in the collection of 
Frederick A, Canfield, of Dover, N, J. This mineral is gener- 


Chemical Composition 




-5 p 

j. 0 

Sterling, N. J. 1 


■— m 

< tm 





> ■ 



< be 


> . 

< he 

U C 





T . 1 — 1 


J - 
< be 
1 j S 


Franklin, N, J. T 

Silica - 

Zinc Oxide ,**...***.. * * 


73 ' 9 S 





26 80 




27 40 

O' 06 


O' 62 




Ferrous Oxide . . . , * 

Ferric Oxide 



| 6*5° 

Manganic Peroxide ...... 

Manganous Oxide 

Magnesia * * , * . . , * 







12' 59 


Lime * * . * . , * . . 

i *60 

Water * , . * 







Specific Gravity* , * 


4 *l6 



^ 3 Typical Analysis* Vanuxtm and Keating, Dana, * Wurti,, Proc. Am. Assn. Adv. Sci. 4, 147. 

Mineralogy* 5th Ed,* p* *, * W. G. Mister, Am, J. Sci, (a), 46, 230. 

a Hermann, Jour, fur pr. Ch.* 47, 11. T Delesse* Ann, Mia. (4)* io, 314, 

ally opaque and of rich-brown or apple-green color, and it is 
not unlikely that fine transparent material of these shades that 
will cut into gems may yet be discovered. 

At the Franklin (Sussex County, N. J.) zinc mines, zincite, 
yellow and yellowish-green willemite, and black franklinite occur 
mingled together in granular crystals not over £ inch in diameter. 
This mixture, as well as the brown zinciferous serpentine from 
Franklin, described by Prof. Charles U. Shepard, is often 
ground into charms, paper-weights, and similar objects, the effect 


l 55 

of the combination being very pleasing, although it does not ad- 
mit of a high polish. 

Vesuvianite or idocrase that would yield small gems has been 
found at Phippsburgh, Me* A beautiful wine-colored variety is 
mentioned as occurring near Hope, Bucks County, Pa* About a 
mile and a half from Sanford, Me., idocrase occurs in unlimited 
quantities, one ledge, fully 30 feet wide, being made up entirely of 
massive idocrase, associated with quartz and occasionally with cal- 
cite, which fills the cavities containing the crystals* Some of the 
crystals are 7 inches long, and occasionally the smaller ones would 
afford fair gems. Idocrase is mentioned by Dr* Frederic M* 


Chemical Composition 




Sandford, Me. 



Amity, N. Y, 

Santa Clara, Cal. 
Smith .- 1 

Newbury, Mass. 
Grecfy . 4 




3 S ‘°9 



Alumina * . 



I 7‘43 



Ferric Oxide ^ 

6 - 07 



Ferrous Oxide, — 



Manganous Oxide.. 


o 1 18 











1 07 




O' 44 

Soda ...... 





Titanic Oxide . , T . . 


Phosphoric Acid*** * 



Yellowish Brown 


Hardness r - - - 


Specific Gravity 

T 43 


3 ' 55 

1 C. F. Ramtneisberg, Fogg. Ann., 94, p. 92. a T, Thomson, Mineralogy, vol. 1 ., p. 143. 

3 J. Lawrence Smith, Am. L Sci, (3I 8, 434. Ann. de Chlm. III., 428, 1874. Compics Rend us, 79, 8 13, 1874. 
* James T, Greely, Technology Quarterly, May, 7888* 

Endlich as occurring in large crystals on Mount Italia, Col., and 
north of the Arkansas River, in granite. This mineral, which 
was named vesuvianite by mineralogists, from the fact that 
it was first found in the lava at Vesuvius, splendidly crystallized, 
is sold by Neapolitan jewlers, and used to make the letters I and 
V in the manufacture of initial pieces of jewelry, in which some 
word or sentiment is spelled out, the initial of each letter being 
represented by a precious stone. Near Amity, Orange County, 
N. Y., is found a dark yellowish-brown variety, which, on the 
supposition of its being a new mineral, was named xanthite by 
Doctor Thompson ; it has been found transparent enough to cut 



into small gems, that would serve as initial stones for the letter X 
in jewelry. 

The allanite found in large masses and crystals in Amherst 
County, Va., is very compact and bright black in color. It would 
furnish a metallic black gem, which, however, would be of little or 
no value. 

A large quantity of gadolmite has recently been found in 
Llano County, Tex, It is very compact, of deep velvet-black 
color, and furnishes a stone about the color of schorlomite. 

Epidote is found in many places in the United States, and 
in very large crystals. It ranges from brown to green in color, 
and is generally translucent or semi-opaque, except in very 
small crystals. Fine crystals have been found at H add am. 
Conn,, which might yield small gems. The large crystals found 
in quartz at Warren, N. H., were all too opaque for gems, yet 
were fine as cabinet specimens. At Roseville, in Byram Town- 
ship, Sussex County, N, J,, epidote was formerly found in good 
crystals of deep green that would afford small gems of little 
value. The principal localities in Chester County, Pa,, are West 
Bradford Township ; East Bradford, where dark-green specimens 
occur; and West Goshen. In East Marlborough and Kennett 
Townships it occurs in yellowish-green crystals; in the limestone 
quarries of London Grove and Sadsbury Townships, in bottle- 
green crystals. Prof. Frederick A. Genth mentions 1 a crystal of 
epidote in the cabinet of the University of Pennsylvania, from 
the gold washings of Rutherford County, N. C. This crystal is 
strongly pleochroic, like the so-called puschkinite from the auri- 
ferous sands of Ekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains, and would 
cut into a small gem. Some fine, highly complex forms have 
been observed at Hampton’s, Yancey County, N. C,, by William 
E. Hidden. These crystals might possibly afford cabinet gems, 
not so fine, however, as the Tyrolese epidote. In November, 
1 888 , Dr. C. D. Smith sent the writer several dozen crystals of 
epidote from a place one mile from Rabun Gap, Rabun County, 
Ga., that are as fine in color, transparency, and habit as those 
from the famous Untersultzbachthal Tyrol locality. None were 
over an inch in length, but it is believed that proper working might 

Minerals and Mineral Localities of North Carolina, Raleigh, p. 44, 18S1. 



develop as large crystals as those from the Tyrol, since they show 
the pleochrism beautifully, their color changing, as viewed in dif- 
ferent directions through the prism, from dark grass-green to a 
rich yellow-green. 


Chemical Composition 


> & >1* 
h « « s ri 

u CJ J ■ — 

* ■*£ 

>. j. d 


3 tT S - 
0 * Jo 



f x - = 

p. hniA O 
a u w 

3 | 1 § 


c -* 


t E" 1 jfi g 
< 6^0 
= j 

2%< 1 
£ ^ 



3 r fl 

< 0 w □. 

4 4 



Silica * , . 




40 + 04 




24 ' 57 






Ferric Oxide .............. 

12' l6 

1 2*24 

2' 28 



Ferrous Oxide, , , , . , , . . * , . 


Manganous Oxide 





* » * * * 

* , * , , 

Copper Oxide, 

0 * 24 , 

Lime, , . . , * , . * . . . . . 


21 ‘54 


25' II 



Magnesia ................ 







Potassa and Soda . . 

O' X? 




21 Z 







Cray tQ 





Green . 


Gray to Blue. 

Bluish White- 


Specific Gravity 

3 ‘.3 4 


9 A. G, Dana* Am, J. Sci. (3), 29, 455. 
3 Thomson, Nicol's Man. of Min, ( 1849 ), 

= 37 - 

*, i Am, J. Set* (2), 33* 107. 

* J. W. Mallet c, Chain. News (iSSi), 44* 1S9* 

Zoisite is a silicate of alumina containing from 2 to 9 per 
cent, of oxide of iron. Its quality, as found in the United States, 
has not been such as to adapt it for use as a gem. Some beauti- 
ful specimens of yellowish-brown and greenish-gray crystals have 
been found at the Ducktown, Tenn., Copper Mines. The rose- 
red or thulite variety has been found at Deshong’s Quarry, Del- 
aware County, Pa., but this is not as handsome or as compact as 
the beautiful rose-red variety which occurs in considerable quanti- 
ties at Trondhjem, Norway, some of which has been used for 
ornamental purposes. 

No crystals of axinite have been found in this country of 
sufficient size to furnish gems. It has been observed near Beth- 
lehem, Pa., at Cold Spring, N. Y., and associated with essonite 
and idocrase at Phippsburg and Wales, Me. The first-named 
locality, discovered by Prof. Frederick Prime, Jr., is in North- 
ampton County, about three miles north of Bethlehem. Speci- 
mens from this place have been examined by Prof. Benjamin W. 


Frazier, 1 who published his results. The crystals here are found 
in a rock containing crystalline hornblende, apparently mixed in- 
timately with the axinite, and also traversed by numerous narrow 
veins of that mineral. He says; “Some of the crystals are 
colorless, others and the crystalline variety which fills the veins 
have a pale brown color. 1 ' In some cases this is chiefly superfi- 
cial from the presence of a thin brown incrustation which occurs 
at times in minute globular concretions and again in dendritic 
forms. The lustre of the crystals, which in size reach a length of 


Chemical Composition 



— £ 

(3 2- 
U .2, 


» B 



5 S3 

0 0 




< x 




< x 





< b 



[ °'47 

J- I ‘02 

l 170 


> 0-30 




48* 20 
1 02 

Alumina *...».»..*.*.*»** 

Ferric Oxide. , . 

Manganous Oxide * . * 



Lime .... 





23 26 

Boric Acid 

Yrfhia ............ ... 



Water ....*...*****.*.*** 






Honey Y*llw 





Velio w. 




Specific Gravity 

1r| « t I 

1 Typical Analysis, Analyst, Comstock. See G, J* 3 Analyst* Chas, U. Shepard, See Nicol’s Manual of 
Brush and E. S, Dana, Am. J.Sci, f3), 20, in. Mineralogy (1849), p. 170. 

3 Analyst, J. E, Whitfield* Sere Am. J. ScL (3), % 3 Analysts, J, L- Smith and G. J, Brush, See 

34* 325. Am. J. Sci. (a), 16, 365. 

i of an inch, varies ; some are dull, some highly brilliant* 
Specimens from Dauphin, France, and Scopi, Switzerland, are 
occasionally cut into beautiful stone-brown gems, but for gem 
collections only* 

Danburite 1 has been found in the largest known crystals and 
in considerable abundance at Russell, N* Y,,but only occasionally 
are the crystals clear enough to cut into gems* Its hardness is 7 
to 7 ‘2 5, its color usually either wine-colored, honey-yellow, or 
yellowish brown* Some of the crystals observed are 6 inches 

1 Am. J* Sci, III, 5 VoL 24, p. 439, Dec., 1S82. 

Am, J. Sci. IIL, Yol. 20j p. in, Aug., 1880. 



long and 2 inches In diameter, but they are less beautiful than 
the small, colorless ones from Scopi, Switzerland/ The original 
locality, Danbury, Con n., never furnished any gems* 

lolite occurs at Haddam, Conn,, in crystals occasionally 5 
Inches across, which are often dark blue and sufficiently clear for 
cutting as gems, Dr. John Torrey possessed a fine seal made 
of a cube of iolite from the alblte granite of Haddam, Conn*, which 
displayed to the greatest perfection its dichroitic properties, being 
blue when viewed in one direction, and white when viewed In the 
other, the blue being remarkably fine. This locality promised 
well, but the supply of gem material has been scant An iolite- 
gneiss has recently been noticed by Edmund O, Hovey, at Guil- 

10 LITE 




Unity, Maine . 1 

Haddam, Conn. s . * 
Haddam, Conn. 5 ,, 
Richmond, N. HJ. 
Brim held, Mass, 5 ,, 






! ft 






Jf 3 

"5 ti 

c 5 



E « 





48*1 1 

3 s ' 5 ° 



*, , * 







5 * 


* * * * 


4 S -35 




, , , . 



* * * , 

48 j goi 




6 - oo 


, * * * 

4 S-S 4 




■ ■ ■■ 




1 Analyst, C, T- Jackson. C. T. Jackson. Final Rtp. Gepl. of N. H. f p. 184 ; Dana. Min, 184 i, 406, 

* Analyst, Thomson. Thomson, Mineralogy, L, 27S. 

*. * Analyst. C. T. Jackson. C. T. Jackson, Final Rqp. ( GcoL of N. H.. p. 184. 

5 Analyst. L. C. Bock, Nat Hist of New York Mineralogy, by L. C. Beck, p. 451, 184a. 

ford, Conn.’ It was found near the Norwich and Worcester 
Railroad, between the Shetucket and Quinebaug Rivers, where the 
gneiss has been quarried for the road. At Brimfield, Mass., on 
the road leading to Warren, it occurs with andalusite in gneiss, 
and likewise near Norwich, Conn. It is also found at Richmond, 
N. H., with anthophyllite in a talcose rock. In the author’s col- 
lection, there is a crystal of this mineral, found at Fort George, 
Manhattan Island, which is almost entirely altered to pinite, an 
alteration common to nearly all the crystals that were formerly 
found at Haddam, Conn. 

Lepidolite is a mica containing lithia. Beautiful pink and 
lavender colored lepidolite has been found in large quantities at 

1 Danburite from Switzerland, 

25, p. i6i, Feb,, 1883. 

3 Am. J. ScL IIL, Vol, 36, p. 57, Oct,, 1888, 


Mount Mica, Paris, Me., in masses of 50 to 200 pounds ; at Heb- 
ron and Norway, more recently at Auburn, and also at Mount 
Black, Rumford, Me., ranging from rose-pink through a variety 
of shades of pink-lavender to heliotrope color. As this mineral is 
used abroad to some extent for ornaments, such as dishes, vases, 
paper-weights, etc., the similar utilization of the American variety 
is suggested. This variety, like the lepidolite of Rozena, Mora- 
via, contains crystals of rubellite At Rumford the association is 
almost identical and the mixture can be as easily polished or 
worked as the former. 

Pink, lavender, and purple scapolite, in compact masses 3 or 4 
inches square, is found at Bolton, Mass., that will polish nicely 
and form a neat ornamental stone. 

Canerinite, sodalite, and elaeolite are occasionally fine enough 
to be used as gems and ornamental stones. These minerals are 
found at Litchfield and South Litchfield, Me., in boulders varying 
in weight from a few pounds to many tons, that lie scattered over 
the ground fora distance of about four miles. One mile and a half 
west of this line, across a pond in West Gardner, these minerals 
are found associated with zircon, as in South Litchfield. In 
West Gardner are ledges of rocks which are believed to be the 
source of these boulders. The color of canerinite varies from 
bright orange-yellow to pale yellow. There are three distinct 
types of this mineral, the bright orange-yellow, cleavable and 
transparent, in thin fragments ; the pale yellow, not cleavable ; 
and the bright yellow, granular, which is the commonest form. 
These varieties all have been polished to some extent by collec- 
tors. Associated with canerinite is found a bluish-colored min- 
eral, which Prof. Frank W. Clarke has shown to be a mixture of 
canerinite and elmolite. The sodalite found occurs in seams 
from & inch to 2 inches in thickness, and varies from violet to a 
deep azure-blue. This mineral when polished is almost as beau- 
tiful as lapis lazuli and it has been found in sufficient quantity 
to give it some gem importance. Hexagonal crystals of bright 
yellov r canerinite occasionally penetrate the deepest blue sodalite, 
forming an exceedingly beautiful stone when polished. 

Lapis lazuli has not been found in North America, though it 
occurs extensively in the Andes Mountains of South America. 


Lapis lazuli has been shown to be, not a definite mineral, but a 
mixture of a colorless and a blue substance, the latter (the min- 
eral hauynite), predominating. The yellow spots of so-called gold 
are really iron pyrites. It was the sapphire of the ancients. Its 
hardness varies from 5 to 5-5 and its specific gravity is 2-4. 
The finest is brought over from Persia, but it is also found 
in Siberia, Tartary, China, and Thibet. 


Feldspar Group. 

T HE greenish variety of orthoclase named lennilite by 
Dr. Isaac Lea 1 is found at Lenni Mills, Delaware 
County, Pa. The pearly variety found at Blue Hill, 
two miles north of Media, and called by Dr. Lea dela- 
warite, is a bluish-green, sub-transparent cassinite, of an aven- 
turine character, the bright particles being hexagonal hematite, 
and often fine enough in color to make a gem or ornamental 
stone. Elteolite has been found at Magnet Cove, Ark,, in very 
compact nodules of rich flesh, cinnamon, and yellow-brown color, 
and in such abundance as to warrant its use for certain purposes 
in jewelry. That found at Gardiner and Litchfield, Me., admits 
of a very good polish, the color being greenish and of a good 
appearance, while part of that found at Salem, Mass., is also 
valuable. (See Cancrinite and Sodalite.) At Van Arsdale’s 
Quarry 3 near Feasterville, Bucks County, Pa., orthoclase is 
found in crystals from d an inch to 2 inches in length, us- 
ually, however, in cleavage masses of a gray or grayish-black 
color, which show the blue chatoyancy finely and make a very 
fine variety of moonstone. The beautiful specimens of albite 
found at Mineral Hill, near Media, Delaware County, Pa,, show 

1 Am. J, Sd. IIL, VoL 36, p. 326, Nov, T 1SS8. 
a Preliminary Report on the Mineralogy of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, 1875}. p. $9. 



the blue chatoyancy remarkably well. It is there called "moon- 
stone,” and may well be classed under this head, for it has the 
chatoyant effect and in appearance differs but slightly from ortho- 
clase moonstone. The greenish-gray granular albite or oligo- 
clase found in the serpentine at the magnesia quarries, West 
Nottingham Township, Chester County, Pa., shows a faint blue 
moonstone lustre. The beautiful feldspar found by W. W. Jef- 
feris,with the sunstone at Pearce's paper mill, shows a blue chat- 
oyancy as marked as that of any labrador spar. It may be the 
latter, or perhaps oligoclase. The finest examples of this mate- 
rial, very closely resembling that from Ceylon in quality, trans- 
parency, and color, and forming gems } inch across, have been 
found at the Allen Mica Mines, Amelia Court House, Va. It 
also occurs in opaque pieces 6 to 8 inches square and of good 
color, showing a delicate blue chatoyancy. Crystals an inch in 
length, of an opaque adularia feldspar, showing a beautiful blue 
chatoyancy, are found on Mount Beckwith, Col. Very good 
sunstone oligoclase, with fine reflections, has been found near 
Fairfield, Pennsbury Township, Pa., also at Mendenhall’s lime 
quarries, Pennsbury, Chester County, and in Ashton 1 ownship, 
Pa., some of a grayish-white color with coppery reflections ; and a 
curious variety in moonstone (albite), showing double reflections. 
The green and red sunstone found near Media, Pa., is very fine. 
In Middletown Township, Delaware County, Pa., in one local- 
ity moonstone and sunstone in small nodular lumps are scattered 
through the soil, and about a ton of the material has been re- 
moved since its existence was discovered ; in another locality in 
the same township, moonstone is found in boulders. A very 
fine sunstone, the orthoclase of which is of a rich salmon color, 
quite transparent and streaked with white, showing the aventur- 
ine effect beautifully, is found at Glen Riddle, Delaware County, 
and another beautiful variety in the hornblende at Kennett Town- 
ship, Chester County, Pa. ; this Professor Genth thinks 
is probably an oligoclase. Greenish orthoclase, sometimes in 
bright green pieces, also pale green, and at times spotted with 
brownish tints, all showing a sunstone effect, is found at Mineral 
Hill, Middletown, and Upper Providence, Delaware County, Pa. 
The orthoclase of Frankford, Pa., with gothite disseminated 


through it, very closely approaches sunstone in appearance* 
Beautiful varieties of orthoclase sunstone were discovered near 
Crown Point, N. Y. t by William P* Blake* On the Horace 
Greeley Farm, at Chappaqua, N* Y., small pieces of orthoclase 
sunstone were found, almost as fine as that from Swedestrand, 
Norway* It also occurs at Amelia Court House, Amelia County, 
Va. A very interesting variety of sunstone was found by 
j, A. D, Stephenson at the quarry in Statesville, N* C*; the re- 
flections are as fine as those of the Norwegian, but the spots of 
color are very small* Several hundred dollars 1 worth from this 
locality have been sold as gems. 







4 = 










rt <f> 









v *5 






flesh red . 

Ogtfen Mine. 
Sussex Co., N.J, 1 

64 ’60 
64 'So 

iq "02 

o' 23 



i 5 ‘aa 


o'i 6 


Flesh red. 

Ogden Mine* 
Sussex Co,, N.J. 5 
Delaware Co., 

Penn . 3 * 

64' 8z 


19 '^S ! 147 



*3 ‘3® 


q '?6 



i, 3 Analyst* A., R* Leeds* A. R* Lteils, Am. J. ScL (3.), 4, 433. 1 Analyst, A. R. Leeds. A. R, Leeds, Am, J, ScL (3), 6, 

Labrador spar is found in large quantities in Lewis and Es- 
sex Counties, N. Y., and as boulders in the drift, all the way 
down to Long Island and New jersey. In Lewis County the 
boulders are so plentiful in one of the rivers that it has been 

named Opalescent River. Large quantities of this lab rado rite 
rock are quarried at Keeseville, Essex County, N. Y., for menu- 

mental and building work It is polished there for similar pur- 
poses at a cost of about one dollar a square foot, and finds a 
ready sale under the name of Au Sable granite* The Young 
Men’s Christian Association Building at Burlington, Vt., and one 
of the public buildings in Minneapolis are built with it. Within 
a few miles of Amity, in Orange County, a boulder of fine mate- 
rial for specimens, weighing over 2 tons and showing the charac- 
teristic chatoyant play of colors, was found* In Pennsylvania 
labradorite occurs at Mineral Hill, Chester County, and opposite 
New Hope, Bucks County ; and also in the Wichita Mountains, 
Ark Mention is made by Professors Genth and Kerr 1 of a curi- 

1 Minerals and Mineral Localities of North Carolina, p. 4S. 


ous white variety occurring at the Cullakenee Mine, Clay County, 
also large crystals in the trap at Shiloh Church. On the road to 
Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and near Bakersville, North 
Carolina, spec! m ens showing a si ight blue chatoyancy are also f o u n d. 
This domestic labradorite is scarcely used at all in the arts, as 
the mineral from Labrador is cheaper and of a much superior 
quality, and takes a finer polish. 

At Pike’s Peak, Col., amazonstone is found in cavities in a 
coarse pegmatite granite with smoky quartz crystals, often of 
huge size, flesh-colored and white feldspars. When associated 
with smoky quartz, it makes a most pleasing and effective miner- 
alogical combination. The mineral here is finer than any found 
elsewhere. Many thousand amazonstone crystals of the most 














3 e 


h * 

i ■ 

cl >j> 








Ml Marey, Essex Co., N, YA , , ♦ - - 
Waiervillc, N. H 3 , . . 

5 * 9 ° 
54 47 

26’ 20 


4 ' 9 & 




4 5 * 




J Analyst* A. It, Leeds. A. R, Leeds, Am. Chem. J,, Match, 1^77, Am, j + Sci r 14, 340 
J Analyst, E, S. Dana. E, S. Dana, Am, J. Sci. £3). 3. 4S. 

beautiful green color have been obtained, measuring from £ inch 
to over 12 inches in length and of different shades of green, from 
the lightest and most delicate to a deep apple-green. The crys- 
tals are often in groups, the bases of which are covered with 
white albite. The finest group of this character is in the 
New York State Museum in Albany, and the finest single 
crystals are in the collections of Clarence S. Bement of 
Philadelphia and Frederick A. Canfield of Dover, N. J, 
When this mineral was first exhibited at the World’s Fair 
in Philadelphia, in 1876, it proved a great surprise to many, 
but especially to the Russians, who had brought over some 
small crystals valued at what would now be considered fabulously 
high prices. Some of it is cut into gems or ornamental stones, 
and large quantities are still sold annually to tourists. Several lo- 
calities in North Carolina also furnish this mineral. Rockport, 
Mass., formerly afforded many finely colored pieces. Some fine 
green crystals have also been found at Paris, Me., and at Mount 


Desert, Me., material that would cut into fair gems is occasionally 
met with. Several light-green crystals, over 6 inches long, and 
one over 10, were found in the Allen Mica Mines, Amelia Court 
House, Va. From the Pike’s Peak locality one dealer sold over 
$8,000 worth as specimens, at prices as high as $200 for a single 
specimen. Over $1,000 worth from this place is annually cut 
into tourists’ jewelry. In Middletown, Delaware County, Pa., 
many shades of green feldspar, passing into cassinite and delawa- 
rite, are found in the soil in loose boulders, up to 20 inches in 
diameter. In the Allen Mica Mines many hundreds of tons of 
rich green cleavages of amazonstone, some 6 or 8 inches across, 
were found in mining for mica, and this is so plentiful that it 
merits attention in the arts. 


Chemical Composition 


Com posit ion 


Magnet Cove, 

Mineral Hill, 
Pisa 111,- 

Amelia Co., 






Williams. 4 

Color * , . . , 

Blue Green. 


I 5*60 

Blue Green. 






Bluish Gray, 




I 3'34 




Blue Green. 






Alumina . . 

Ferric Oxide,, , , , , . 

Potassa , * * . 


4*6 1 


Lime * * 


Water . 





Specific Gravity 


3 Typical Analysis. Des Cloiseau*, Ccmptes Rend us, 1876, p. 885-91. 

3 F. P. Du lining ton, Chern. News, Oct. 31, 1B84, p, sod. 

4 G. W. Williams, Balt. Nat, Field Club, April, i£S 7. Ncucs Jahrb, fur Min,, iSE-8, s Band, 1 heft. 

Perthite, abundant at Perth, Ontario, is found in the United 
States as boulders, and possibly in place. This mineral forms a 
very curious and rich-colored gem stone, with bright aventurine 

Peristerite, associated with common orthoclase, has been 
found crystallized in great abundance in the town of Macomb, St. 
Lawrence County, N. Y. Many of the specimens show the 
beautiful light-blue chatoyant effect. It has also been observed 
as far north as Bythurst, Canada, nine miles north of Perth, in 
the townships of Pierrepont and Russell, and in at least a dozen 
other places in northern New York. Occasionally it makes a 

very fine gem stone, differing from labradorite and moonstone, 
the chatoyancy being an intermediate one between the white 
of moonstone and the dark blue of the former. It occurs in 
large masses at Cavendish, near Cavendish Falls, in the railway 
cutting, twenty-two miles northeast of Bellows Falls, Vt. 

A compact variety of white or gray orthoclase, spotted black 
by hydrated manganese oxide, and called from its leopard-like 
appearance, leopardite, is abundant near Charlotte, Mecklenburgh 
County, and also in Gaston County, N. C. It is a variety of 
porphyry with disseminated crystals of quartz, and occurs in large 
masses as a rock, so that it would furnish a good ornamental 
stone, if polished. It* might be also used for a gem stone. 

In December, 1887, specimens of feldspar were sent to the 
writer 1 for examination by Daniel A. Bowman, who had found 
them at a depth of 380 feet in the Hawk Mica Mine, four miles 
east of Bakersville, N. C. They proved to be a variety of oligo- 
clase, remarkable for its transparency. The clearest piece meas- 
ured 1 by 2 by 3 inches. One of the two varieties is of a faint 
window-glass green color, and contains a series of cavities, sur- 
rounded and fringed by tufts of white, needle-shaped inclusions 
called microlites, which measure from to W inch (0*5 to 1*5 mil- 
limeter) in diameter and are quite round, resembling those that 
are occasionally present in the Ceylonese moonstone. The won- 
derful transparency of the oligoclase and the whiteness of the in- 
clusions give the whole mass a striking resemblance to the lumps 
of glass so commonly obtained from the bottom of a glass pot. 
It was mistaken for this until its highly perfect cleavage was no- 
ticed. Recently some material of a slightly different character has 
been obtained at the mine. Cleavage masses of a white, striated 
oligoclase, 3 inches long, were found, containing nodules about 
finch to finch (10 to 15 millimeters) square, which were as 
colorless and pellucid as the finest phenacite and entirely free 
from the inclusions found in the greenish variety. This trans- 
parent variety, like the other, shows no striae. 

The following analysis by Prof. Frank W. Clarke, made 
from a faint green variety, shows it to be a typical oligoclase. 
The specific gravity was determined to be 2*651. This has been 

1 See Mineralogies! Notes, by George F. Kunz, Am. J, Sci. IIL, VoL 36, p, 222, Sept,, iSSS* 



cut into a transparent gem, and may be advantageously used for 
spectroscope, microscope, and other lenses. 


Alumina * 

Ferric Oxide 

Manganous Oxide 

Lime ........ 



Loss by ignition 1 . 

4 47 

99' 95 

A very fine oligoclase occurs at Dixon’s Quarry, New Castle 
County, Del. ; and at West Chester, Delaware County, Pa., 
a striated variety which admits of a handsome polish. 

Obsidian, a peculiar, glasslike stone of volcanic origin, is found 
along Pitt River, Cal., where handsome specimens of the streaked 
marekanite or “mountain mahogany" are found, also in Owen 
Valley, in the same State, where it occurs in red fragments, and 
also banded with alternate layers of black and brown. Near 
Sante Fe, N, M., it is found in rounded pebbles over an inch 
across, resembling moldavite, as the variety from Moravia is 
called, only not quite so green. A porphyrite and sperolite obsidian 
occurs under the trachyte on Gunnison River, and a heavy vein of 
porphyrite obsidian is found under the Grande pyramid, continu- 
ing from thence southward through the trachytic bed. Nodules 
are found in the lower members of the trachytic veins. There is 
a dyke of light-gray and clear obsidian, with concentric structure, 
near the Colorado Central lode, north of Saguache Creek, near 
Georgetown, Col. Obsidian in fine pieces is very abundant ten 
miles southeast of Silver Peak, Nev., and at Obsidian Cliff in the 
Yellowstone Park, Wyo. This locality is described by Joseph 
P. Iddings 1 who says : “The cliff presents the partial sections of 
a floor of obsidian, the dense glass constituting the lower portion, 
which is from 75 to 100 feet thick. One of its remarkable feat- 
ures is a prismatic column, forming its southern extremity, which 
rises 50 or 60 feet, and is only 2 to 4 feet in diameter. The 

! E. L. Sperry's Analysis in Mineralogical Notes by S. L. Penficld and E, A, Sperry* Am. J. 
Sci. IIL, Vol. 36,, p. 325, Nov., 1S88. 

5 Seventh Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey, p. 254 et seq. 


color of the material is for the most part jet-black, but some of it 
is mottled and streaked with brownish red and various shades of 
brown mountain mahogany, passing into dark or light yellow, 
purple, and yellowish green.” Fine examples from this locality 
are in the United States National Museum Collection at Wash- 

William H. Holmes, in an interesting paper in the “American 
Naturalist,” 1 states that while examining the locality it occurred 
to him that the various Indian tribes of the neighborhood had 
probably visited the place in order to procure material for arrow- 
heads and similar implements, and after a short search he found 
a leaf-shaped instrument that was 4 inches in length, 3 in width, 
and £ inch in thickness, of very fine workmanship and made of 
the black opaque obsidian. Further search was rewarded by ten 
more or less perfect implements. The use of obsidian as points 
for arrows, spears, and cutting implements was noted by Squire 
and Davis, who found such articles, though mostly broken, in 
Indian altar mounds of the Scioto Valley in Ohio; and an 
object made of this material was found in Tennessee by Gerald 
Troost. 1 

John R. Bartlett,’ commissioner of the United States from 
185010 1853 for determining the boundary line between the United 
States and Mexico, found pieces of obsidian and fragments of 
painted pottery along the Gila River wherever there had been 
Indian villages. Specimens have been found along the ruins of 
the Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mex., as well as along the Gila 
and Salinas Rivers. Similar observations have been made 
by earlier and later travellers, among whom is Caleb Lyon, who 
in i860 found the Shasta Indians of California making arrow- 
heads from obsidian as well as from the glass of a broken bottle. 
In a letter, which was published by the American Ethnological 
Society, he describes the method of manufacture. 4 The beautiful 

1 Notes on an Extensive Deposit of Obsidian in the Yellowstone Park. VoL 13, p- 247, April, 

5 Ancient Remains in Tennessee, YoL 1», p*36f, New' York, 1845, 

3 Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, 
and Chihuahua, during the years 1850-1853, VoL 2, p. 50, New York, 1854, Humboldt’s Essai 
Politique sur la Nouvelle Espagne, Vol, 2, p, 243, Paris, 1825. Clavirego’s History of Mexico, 
VoL 1, p* 157, Philadelphia, 1817, 

4 Bulletin of the American Ethnological Society, Vol. I, p. 39, New York, 1861. 

3 70 


color of the different varieties recommended its use in the arts, 
and it exists in such immense quantities that it should receive 
some attention from jewelers and decorators. 

Pitchstone is a variety having the lustre of pitch rather than 
glass, Pitehstones are often albite or oligoclase rather than or- 






5 15 s -i) 

1 &£ 






E . 

h£ flS 







V si. 



Greenish black.*,. 

Yellowstone Nat. Park 1 . 

Mono Valley. Cal, 1 

j Isle Roy ale, Lake 
1 Superior 3 .... . , f 

7 foo 
74' '°5 

62 '5 T 

T 3 ' 4 ° 

13 "85 I trace 
ti '47 n'05 



2 "67 




3 43 

4 l 6o 

3 03 


+ 31 


o h ?o 



6’ a 

*' '4 

Variety Pitch- 
stone, ...... j 

l Analyst, Beam, Win, Beam , u. $* Geol. Snr r , Hayden, 3678, Bart I., p. 453. 

* Analyst, T. M. Chataid. T. M. CJi&ianl, U. S. GeuLSur., Bull, No. 9, 

* Analyst, Foster & Whitney. Foster &. Whitney, Rep. Geo!., Lake Superior, Part II., p. i£*. Am. J* Sci. {2}, VoL 17, p. ia 3 . 

thoclase ; that is, they contain soda, or soda and lime, instead of 
potash as a base. 

The best known crystals of chondrodite, and the finest known 
gems cut from this material, have been found at the Tilly Foster 
Mine, Brewster, N. Y. Recent working has brought to light 
transparent, garnet-colored crystals, measuring £ by £ inch, and a 
few over 4 inches across. One essonite-colored crystal is i inch 














y J 









* Analysis 


Tilly Foster Mine. Puinatn Co., N. ’S'. 3 
“ ** “ “ 9 

3 &'oo 

35 + 4 2 

54 ‘2 2 

5"7 2 

9 "oo 

Analysis. . . 

Garnet Red,. 



53 '7= 



Deep Red. . . 

“ » Ci u 3 



7 'aS 


L, “ “ * l 4 

3> J 4= 

51 -aa 

S '73 


“ ... 

New Jersey** .*.*,,.* 

» <l 7 

32 'oo 

5* "0O 


® 55 

2 l OO 


Yellow' . " ^ 
Red , 

33 od 
33 35 
3 &'oo 

5 5 "4^ 

3 "^5 

3 97 

7 'oo 
3' 77 


1 Specific Gravity, yw, Analyst, Hawes. Am. J. S eh fahfi, sm and 10, 96. E. S. Dana, Trans. Acad. Conn. III. — HuUdtITE, 

^ Typical Analysis^ Specific Gravity, 3 2, Analyst, BTeulcnhauph, Rammekberu, Mi ner&lchemic , p, 795,— llUMlTK. 

9 Analyst, Hawes. E. 5, Dana, Am. ] . Sci. <ri>. to, 96 — HUMITE, 

1 Analyst, Brti den Baugh. E. S. Eteidenbaijgh, Am. J. ScL (3). aia— Humite, 

- Analyst, l^angstaff. LantfStaff, Am, J. Sci, (i), &, 173. 

*• A nalyst , R a m melsbcrp, K am me kt>ery , Ann . ,_53 , 130. 

■ Analyst, 1-ishcr. Fisher, Am. J r Sci, fa), 9, Phillips' Mineralogy, 1853, p, 353, 

s Analyst, Thomson, Thomson, Ann. N. Y* Lye. III., 54, 

across. Others, still uncut, would furnish fine gems. The finest 
of these crystals are in the Allen Cabinet, now at the Johns Hop- 
kins University, in Baltimore, Md., and in the Mineralogical Cab- 
inet of the Peabody Museum, New Haven, Conn. The cabinets 
of Frederick A, Canfield and Clarence S. Bement also contain 


fine specimens. The gems are so few in number as to be only 
mineralogical curiosities. 

Andalusite is found in a number of places in the United States, 
but as yet no fine gem stone has been discovered. Among the locali- 
ties most worthy of mention are Upper Providence, Delaware 
County, Pa.; Westford, Mass.; Mount Wiley, Standish, Cumber- 
land County, Me.; and Gorham, near Sebago Lake, Me. The 
first-named locality is remarkable for the crystals of unusual size 
it has produced. Prof. Edward S. Dana describes one crystal 
now in the cabinet at Yale University and also another weighing 
more than 7 pounds. 1 The crystals from Westford are not en- 



flS ' 





v « 

ij H 







U ? 

K * 


Composition*. . * 

Analysis*** . . *.** 
1 1 

Lancaster, Mass*. ** 





* ■■ 


0*2 r 



Bunsen* 1 

Lancaster, Mass* . * * 

33 ° 


4 'OO* 





Lancaster, Mass* * . * 

4 t ‘ 9 5 



, * ** 

G' 4 1 


Petersen* 3 


Chester, Penn ,.**,, 

46 '40 


** - . 



Thomson* 1 

] Dana, Mineralogy. yh Ed,, p. 372.— CiriASTOUITK. s ButtSCS. Rammelsberg's Mineralchemfe, p. 

3 Jackson. Jour* Nat. Hast, Soc., Boston, L, 5$,— ChMstOlitk. * Thumson, Nicol, Man. of Min, p, 243, 1645., 

* Protoxide of Iron, 

tirely perfect, but are of a fair pink color, about 2 inches long and 
•J inch across, and of a quality to yield small gems. Those from 
Mount Wiley are from J to & of an inch in diameter, of good 
flesh-pink color, and would cut into very fair gems. In this vicin- 
ity there are also to be found similar crystals, in a quartz ledge 
associated with pyrrhotite. This association, which is identical in 
three different places, six miles apart, suggests the probability of 
the existence of andalusite in some abundance, as the spots visited 
are only outcrops of the same rock. Further exploration would 
probably^ result in the discovery of fine specimens. The crystals 
found at Gorham, as regards perfection, color, and size, are equal 
to those found at any locality where this mineral does not occur 
as a gem. The color is generally a brownish-flesh color, although 
at times the pink color fades into a faint grayish-pink. The crys- 


tals occur in a quartzite vein in a brown mica schist, and scattered 
through it are small crystals of pyrrhotite . 1 

Among the many valuable ethnological additions to the 
United States National Museum, consequent upon the acquisition 
of Alaska, is that of a series of highly interesting objects, con- 
sisting of drills, adzes, and knife-sharpeners, collected at Point 
Barrow, Capes Nome and Prince of Wales, and at St. Michael’s, 
Sledge and Diomede Islands. Prof. Frank W. Clarke found 
by analysis that these objects were true jadeite or nephrite . 3 
A mineral was also found which was mistaken for jade, but was 
determined by analysis to be pectolite. (See Pectolite.) The 
jade was generally coarse in quality, but among the objects were 
some wdth a high finish, some translucency, and great beauty. 
In color they were yellowish green, olive-green, siskin-green, and 
blackish green. A critical analytical and microscopical examina- 
tion at the laboratory of the United States Geological Survey 
gave the following results : 1 

Chemical Composition 


Cape Prince of 

Part of Adze. 
Mottled Yellowish 


St. Michael's. 
Siskin Green, 

Small Knife, 1 
Diomede Island. 
Blackish Green, 
Mottled and 


Point Barrow. 
Nearly Black* 

Specific Gravity , 









57 * 1 1 






Ferrous Oxide . . . 





Manganous Oxide. 






1 2' 54 


* 3*95 



20' 92 



Ignition, Loss by ...... 





I OO' 35 


1 000 1 


Free. U, S. Nat. Mus. T jSS$, p. 117 , 

As regards origin, some early writers have attributed the 
Alaska nephrite to Siberian sources, but of late years it has been 
generally ascribed to a home locality. Native reports pointed to 
a source known as the Jade Mountains, north of the Kowak 

1 Andalusite from a New American Locality* by George F. Kum* Proc* Am. Ass’n, Adv. Scu 
VoL 32* p. 270, Salem* 18S3. 

2 Am. J. ScL III., Vol. 28, p. 20, July, 1884. 

3 Froc.IL S. Nat. Mus. iSSS t p. 115. 


i 73 

River, about 150 miles above its mouth; and after several at- 
tempts the spot was visited in 1882 by Lieut. G. M. Stoney, 
U. S. N. He collected specimens of jade in situ, and a number 
of samples were examined. They may be described as follows : 
A. Greenish gray, splintery, lamellar in structure; A, like 
B, but more granular ; C, paler, nearly white, closer grained ; 
D, brownish, highly foliated. All four w'ere analyzed with the 
following results : 



A t 






1 38 







57 '3& 


o’ 24 




Ferric Oxide 





Ferrous Oxide .... 




Manganous Oxide. ......... 










Magnesia . . 





99’ 9 3 




The foregoing evidence is sufficient to show the essential 
identity of all the Alaskan jades, and to dispose of the theory 
that their presence in Alaska is to be accounted for upon the 
basis of trade with Siberia. That theory is also negatived by the 
discovery, announced by George M. Dawson, of small nephrite 
boulders on the upper part of the Lewis River, not far from the 
eastern boundary of Alaska. But these nephrites are also strik- 
ingly like those from many other localities, and two of the latter 
have been included in our comparisons. First, a water-worn, 
dark-green boulder from New Zealand, sent to the Museum by 
Sir Julius Haast ; and second, a small implement from Roben- 
hausen, Lake Pfaffikon, Switzerland, out of the collection of 
Thomas Wilson. The latter specimen, also green, had a specific 
gravity of 3-015, as determined by Dr. William Hallock, and a 
more weighty distinction is based upon the presence of inclosures 
of foreign matter in the Siberian nephrite, which are quite lack- 
ing in the specimens from Alaska. 

True jade or nephrite has not been observed in the United 
States, although early mineralogists referred the bowenite of 


Smithfield, R. I., to that mineral. (See Bowenite.) Near Eas- 
ton, Pa., is found a mineral which Janies D. Dana says is a mixture 
and calls it pseudo-nephrite. Of this there are two varieties, one 
pale green, almost white, the other darker green. The former is 
found on the Delaware River about a mile north of Easton, and 
the darker green, about a mile west of this locality at Lerch’s, 
the former on the south side and the latter on the north side of 
the Syenite ridge. 


Chiastolite, Cyanite, Datolite, StauroHte* Isopyre, Pectolite, Dioptase, Prehnitc, Zono- 
chtorite, Chlorastrolite, Thomsonite, Lintonite, Natrolite, and Fluorite* 

T HE curious, cross-like markings of chiastolite (made) have 
suggested its use for gem purposes. The illustration 
shows the many markings that may exist in differ- 
ent parts of one crystal, and the variety of ornamental 
effects that may be produced. It is used for a gem, and sold for 
that purpose abroad, but there is no demand for it in the United 
States, Chiastolites are found in Mariposa County, Cal,, and at 
Lancaster and Westford, Mass, William P, Blake first observed 
this mineral in Mariposa, where, in the drifts of the Chowchilla 
River, near the old road to Fort Miller, he found crystals in great 

FIG* 7, 


abundance, showing the black crosses on the white ground in a 
remarkably perfect manner. They are also found in the stratum 
of conglomerate which caps the hills above the streams, and they 
were all doubtless originally in place in the slates a little higher up 
the river. Smaller and imperfect “ macles ” are found in the slates 
on the road to Bear River, at Hornitos, Cal. The Massachusetts 
localities have yielded many of the best specimens found. 



Cyanites were found in the early part of the century at Ches- 
terfield, Mass., where some of the finest mineralogical specimens 
were obtained. An example of these, a mass measuring io to 6 
inches, and consisting of distinct crystals over 3 inches long, piled 
one upon the other, is in the British Museum at South Kensington, 
in London. The crystals are all distinct, of a fine dark-blue color, 
and would cut into small mineralogical gems. At Darby Creek, 
Moon's Ferry, Delaware County, Pa., have been found deep 
azure-blue blades 5 and 6 inches long, which might afford gems 
if the mineral were thicker. Blue, green, and gray specimens are 
found at East Bradford, Chester County, Pa, Fine crystals occur 
with lazulite at Chubb’s and Crowder's Mountains, on the road to 
Coopers Gap, in Gaston County, N. C. At Windham, Me., 
cyanite has been observed in crystals 6 inches long. The old 




<i I 








Theoretical Composition... 

3&'9 0 

Co - 40 

1 - 6o 



Sinclair Co t| N, G. 

J. L. Smith, 1 

1 J. Lawrence Smith, Am. J. Sci. (a), iG, 37 *. 

localities are Worthington, Blandford, Westfield, and Lancaster, 
Mass.; Litchfield and Washington, Conn,; Strafford, Salisbury, 
and Bellows Falls, Vt; near Wilmington, Del.; at Willis 
Mountain, Buckingham County; also two miles north of Chancel- 
lorsvilie, in Spottsylvania County, Va. The finest cyanite is 
found at Bakersville, N. C., 1 where It occurs in distinct isolated 
crystals that, for perfection, depth of color, and transparency, rival 
those from St. Gothard, Switzerland. They are found at an alti- 
tude of 5,500 feet, near the summit of Yellow Mountain, on the 
road to Marion, N. C., four miles southeast of Bakersville, in a 
vein of white massive quartz in a granitic bluff, associated with 
almandite garnet of a very light transparent pinkish-purple color. 
The vein has a dip of sixty degrees, bearing northeast and south- 
west. The color varies from almost colorless to deep azure-blue, 
as dark as the Ceylonese sapphire. Some of the crystals 

1 Am. J. Sci., III., VoL 36, p. 224, Sept, 1888. 




2 inches long, while a few were observed $ inch (15 millimeters) in 
width and -f inch (10 millimeters) in thickness. Occurring in white 
quartz, they form beautiful specimens, and the loose crystals were 
extensively sold for sapphire at Roane Mountain, the summer re- 
sort. Some gems have been cut, and a fine example is in the 
United States National Museum. It is, however, too soft to 
admit of much wear. 

Datolite, in compact, opaque, white, creamy, and flesh-col- 
ored varieties, found at the Minnesota, Quincy, Marquette, Ash- 
bed, and other mines in the copper region of Lake Superior, ad- 
mits of a very high polish, and makes an excellent opaque gem or 
ornamental stone. One especially fine nodule over 4 inches across, 
with a flesh-colored centre shading off into gray and creamy tints, 
found at the Delaware Mine, is in the cabinet of Clarence S. 
Bement. Some fine specimens of this mineral are also in the 
William S. Vaux Cabinet at the Academy of Natural Sciences in 

The staurolites of Fannin County, Ga., first described by 
Prof. Edward S. Dana,' are found twelve miles southeast of 
Ducktown, Tenn., a locality which has furnished some of the 
finest known twinnings of this mineral. From their resem- 
blance to a cross, these staurolites have found sale abroad as 
ornaments and charms, and are as highly regarded as those 
that are found in Brittany, France, which, according to the 
legend, were supposed to have been dropped from heaven. The 
Fannin County staurolites occur twinned in single and double 
crosses, and are found in large quantities in a decomposed rock 
of mica schist. Of those taken out, perhaps one-tenth are per- 
fect crystals. They all require a certain amount of scraping 
and cleaning. Brilliant crystals are found at Windham, Me., 
some of the twins forming fine crosses. Occasionally, transpar- 
ent crystals are found here that if cut would afford mineralogical 
gems resembling poor garnets. Staurolite is also found at Fran- 
conia and Lisbon, N. H., in mica slate ; on the shores of Mill 
Pond, loose in the soil; at Grantham, N. H.; at Cabot, Vt; at 
Chesterfield, Mass.; at Bolton, Litchfield, Stafford, Tolland, and 
Vernon, Conn.; on the Wissahickon, eight miles from Philadel- 

1 Am. J. ScL, III** Vol* ii, p, 385, May, 1876. 


phia, Pa., in reddish-brown crystals ; and at the lead mine in Can- 
ton, Ga. At the Parker Mine, Cherokee County, N. C., it occurs in 
large, coarse, single crystals and twins ; also along Persimmon, 
Hanging Dog, and Bear Creeks, Madison County, and Tusqui- 
tee Creek, Clay County. In the last-mentioned places staurolite 
is found in argillaceous and talcose slates. Some staurolite macles 
similar to a chiastolite, from Charlestown, N. H., are described 
by Dr. Charles T. Jackson. These pass by insensible shades or 
gradations into andalusite macles. 

Isopyre is found in small veins from 1 to 3 inches in width 
in the magnetic iron at Dickinson Mine in Ferremonte, three miles 
from Dover, N. J. In color it very nearly resembles the darker 
green jasper, or, in other words, bloodstone without the red spots. 
It is used as a gem in the cabinets of collectors. Its hardness is 
6*0 to 6 ’5. 

Pectolite was found in quantity among the Esquimau imple- 
ments collected by the United States Signal Service at Point Bar- 
row, Alaska, and examined by Prof. Frank \V. Clarke it was at 
first supposed to be jade, but on examination proved to be a new 
and interesting variety of compact pectolite, in two varieties, one 
pale apple-green, the other dark green. The specific gravity of the 
pale-green variety was 2*873, that the dark-green 3*092. This 
forms an interesting and unexpected addition to the list of gem 
stones. During 1887 a massive white pectolite of unusually dense 
structure, and susceptible of a high polish, was announced by 
William P. Blake as occurring in Tehama County, Cal,, in masses 
of considerable size. In a letter to the writer he gives the follow- 
ing description of it: “ It occurs in a vein, and is broken out in 
rough tabular masses, from 2 to 3 or more inches in thickness, 
but it is reported that much larger masses can be obtained. It is 
exceedingly tough and hard to break. The fractured surfaces 
are irregular, without cleavage, but have a silky lustre, and a crypto- 
crystalline structure is exhibited in extremely fine inseparable 
fibres, which are radial, curved, and interlaced, and are, perhaps, 
imbedded in a silicious magma, but the fibres constitute the bulk 
of the mass. Color, white, with a delicate shade of sea-green ; 
translucent. Exposed or weathered portions lose their porcelain- 

1 Am. J, Scu, II I M YoL 23 , p. 2i T July, 1884. 


1 79 

like transluceney, and become white and somewhat earthy in 
appearance, and exhibit the crypto-fibrous structure with more 
distinctness. Specimens cut and polished across the end of a 
slab-like mass show on one side a narrow selvage of breccia made 
up of fragments of the pectolite and of a dark-colored rock, mixed 
and firmly cemented together. On the opposite side or border 
of the mass, there are distinctly-formed parallel planes of concen- 
tric layering, from the surfaces of which the fibres diverge. These 
layers and the breccilated border opposite show the vein-Uke 


C hemic At. Composition 

ANI 3 


3 J 


M £ 



L - J 1 0 


S _£2 0 
— n 


^ oipj 

* V 



J J2-- , 

. * 


i c 1—1 

< 4 > f 

J ^ 



^ J 

> 6 
aj* a 

< N G 
« J- « 



3 * 

Silica. ............ + , 

54 ' 2 o 

53 ' 2 o 




r 45 


| T20 

' 32 ‘94 


55 00 





Alumina. . . . . . ..... 


I ‘90 

Ferrous Oxide 

Ferric Oxide 



Manganous Oxide 


33 ' 8 o 

9 “ 4 ° 





32 V 53 





Magnesia , . . 

Soda .................. 






7 ‘ 3 2 















3' So 

Light Green. 
















Hardness ........ 

Specific Gravity 


1 Ati&lyst, Frenkel. Typical Analysis, jahrb. d. Verelns f. Erd-Kuxtde, Dresden, 1884. 

*, 3 Analyst, Whitney, J. D. Whitney, Jour. Boston Soc, Nat. His., 1849, P- 3 6 - Am, L ScL, II., 7, 4^4. 
A Analyst, Whitney. J. D, Whitney, Am. J. Sci., II., ag, 205. Rammclsberg Mmeralchemie, p. 380. 

* Analyst, Clarke. F. W. CUrkt, U. S. Geol. Survey, Bull. No. 9. 

* Analyst, Kendall. Variety Stellite, same reference as 1 and 2. 

T Analyst, Dickinson, Variety Stellite, same reference as 1 and 2. 
e Analysts, Kneer & Smith. G. B. Kneer & E, F. Smith, Am. Chem. J., 6 , p. 411. 

* Analyst, Clarke. F. W. Clarke & T. M. Chatard, Am. J. ScL, III,, *S, ao. 

formation of the mass between walls. Its hardness is from 6 to 
6*5. It may be found useful as an ornamental stone for making 
small objects, cups, plates, handles, or for carving figures, or 
inlaid work.” This is identical with the pectolite from Alaska, 
described by Prof. Frank W. Clarke. (See Jade, Chapter on 

Dioptase was first described by R. C. Hills as being found 
in the United States at the Bon Ton group of mines, about sev- 
enty miles from Clifton, Ariz,, where it occurs in brilliant green 


crystals, to inch in length, lining cavities of what is called 
“ mahogany ore/' a dark-brown, compact mixture, consisting prin- 
cipally of limonite and oxide of copper in varying proportions, 1 
It has since been found in larger and finer crystals, but notwith- 
standing its rich emerald-green color, its softness prevents its use 
as a gem. These crystals are not equal to those from the Khir- 
ghesse Steppes, Siberia, Single crystals from there are occasion- 
ally mounted entire without cutting, 

Prehnite has been found in a number of localities in the 
United States, and gems have been cut from material found at 
Bergen Hill and Paterson, N. J, It is a stone of rich, oily-green 


Chemical Composition 




Cornwall, P<x>ty. 
Genth . 1 

Lake Huron* 

Thomson . 1 

Isle Royale, 
Lake Superior, 


Color. * * * * * 

Bluish greus, 



( Yellow ijTecn* 

45 So 
3 T 92 

Light green* 

46 * IO 
o B 90 

Silica * * . . * *......*. , * * * 



Alumina* * ***** 

Sulphur. * * . , 

Ferric Oxide 

5 * 54 

Ferrous Oxide . * 

4’ 16 

Lime *...**,, * , * * 

27* IO 

4. Of 

4 -o 3 


Magnesia ..***...**,*,*,*...*** 



Hardness ,*,**,*****.*****.**** 



Specific Gravity * 

1 Typical Analysts-^ F. A, Genth, Proc. Am. Phil. Soc*, Aug* i 3 , rSSi. 

Th. Thomson* Nicol 1 * Man, of Min. (18415’), p. 144. 

3 Albert Sdle, Cours dc Min. ct dc Gcol. (1878)5 p. 326, 

color, generally in botryoidal sheets or spheres. Quite a number 
of these, some an inch in diameter, were found at the Pennsylvania 
open cut, and in the cutting of the Morris and Essex Tunnel 
through Bergen Hill, N. J. When cut and polished, it resembles 
chrysoprase in color and lustre. Zonocholrite, chlorastrolite, and 
lintonite have been referred to this species, but Ur, George W. 
Hawes found by analysis that they were only impure varieties. 

Zonochlorite was described by Prof. A. E. Foote in 1873, and 
was obtained by him in 1867 on a small island off Neepigon Bay, 
north shore of Lake Superior, where it occurs associated with 
quartz, amethyst, carnelian, etc. The largest pieces found are less 
than 2 inches across. Its hardness varies from 6-5 to 7. It received 

’ Am* J. Sci*, III*, Vol* 23, p. 325, April, 1882. 


Its name from its green color and banded appearance, from zona, a 
band, chloros, green, and lithos, stone. It takes a high polish, but 
it has been used only to a limited extent as a mineral ogical gem. 

Chlorastrolite is found only on the Isle Roy ale, Lake 
Superior. This island, which belongs to the State of Michi- 
gan, is forty miles long and five miles broad, and is about twenty 
miles from the mainland. The only inhabitant of the island is 
the lighthouse keeper, who, from time to time, entertains par- 
ties who come to fish or mineralogists who come for chlorastrolites. 
The underlying rock is an amygdaloid trap, in which the gem is 
found, but it is now collected in the form of rolled pebbles on the 
beach, having fallen or weathered out of the trap rock. It is en- 
tirely opaque, of green color, mottled and stellated, and admits of 
a high polish. Sometimes the stellations radiate from the centre, 






< 1 

« zpixo 1 




| ii 



i ' 

1 5= 

. li 

0 ^ 



Bhi Lb-green.. 

Isle Royale, Lake 

j =5 49 j 




3 70 

1 c '40 



3‘ lSo | 

J. D, Whitney. 1 

Isle Royale, Lake 
Superior. ..... 

37 "4 1 

J =4 '25 



1 5 ' 77 

**■’ | 

J, D. Whitney. 1 

S, 2 J T I). Whitney* j out. Boston Nat. His:. Soc., S. 423. Am. J. Sci. (s), d, 270. Raimncl$berg r l Minernlchernse,, p. 635. Albcr 
Stile Cours dc Min. et dc Geo!., pw 356 . Rc|>. Gfrol. of flake Superior, 1 S 51 , II., p. 97 . Dana, Mineralogy, 5 th Ed-, p. 412 . 

and show a beautiful chatoyancy, similar to the cat’s-eye, crocido- 
lite, and other fibrous minerals. Prof. A. E. Foote and a party 
camped for some months on this island in 1868, and chlorastro- 
Hte was first found by them in a vein-stone associated with 
native copper and epidote. Rounded pebbles of the rock con- 
taining the chlorastrolite are plentiful on the beach. One of the 
largest known perfect chlorastrolites is in the cabinet of M. T. 
Lynde, of Brooklyn, N. Y., and measures ij by i» inches (see 
Colored Plate No. 3) ; next in size is one belonging to Alfred 
Morrison, of London ; and the third largest is owned by an 
American lady, now residing in London. A fine pair of oval 
chlorastrolites, over half an inch in length, are in the possession 
of Frederick A. Canfield, of Dover, N. J. About $1,000 worth 
are annually sold to tourists. 

Thomsonite and lintonite, the latter first described by Peckham 1 

‘Am. J. Sci. III., Vol. 19, p, 123, Feb., 1880. 




« t' 


and Hall r found at Good Harbor Bay, Grand Marias, on Lake 
Superior, Mich,, in the basalt, and as rolled pebbles on the beach, 
result from the decomposition of the rock, the amygdules with- 
standing the action of the weather better than the rock. They 
vary from the size of a pinhead to over an inch in diameter. 
Many of the thomsonites are made up of series of concentric lay- 
ers of various shades of color, in soft tones of flesh-red, creamy 
white, yellow, and green, and are excedingly pretty, especially 
when polished, when they resemble the eye-agate* Great num- 
bers are annually sold to visitors at Lake Superior, especially 
at Duluth, Minn., and Grand Marias, Mich* The cutting 
of thomsonite consists almost entirely of a rounding off of the 
pebble, so as to show the concentric and other markings to the 










1 i 





? 6 
6 ? 





“ S 3 ; 

V ll 

'5 > 



Flesh red 
Flesh red 
Green . , . 
While. , . 

Grand Marais. Minn. 3 

ti l. a 

t* u 0 a 

U U Lk 4 

Colorado s 

4& J 02 
4 1 23 


30'? 15 
= 9 '3 7 
30 12 

39 'QO 



0 m 


9 ' 

10 37 
1 1*92 
i i'6o 

O’ 53 7 

o ', 49 


4 766 
3 75 ^ 




* 3*93 
r 37 S 
T 3'93 
12 ’86 
14 '06 

s'o- 6'o 
S - o - 6 H o 

= 33 35 

= 33 - 2*35 
=’ 33 - 2' 35 
2 ' 33-235 

Minnesota r 



I, 5 . A, 4 Analyst, Linton. Feck ham Si Hall, Am. J. Scl. (3), 19, rw. Feb,, i&fri. 

-• Analysts^ Cross & HiHcbraml. Cross & Hhlcbrand, Am. J, Sd. (3). 23, 453, 

! Analyst, (>, A. Ktviiig, Natural !>>[*!■ Leisure Hour, No. 8, Aug. i, jfcjr*!. 

best advantage. Some that have been polished are over an inch 
in diameter. The small ones are generally of the finest material. 
Lintonite is really a variety of prehnite, and takes a fine pol- 
ish either alone or when associated with the flesh-colored forms of 

Natrolite occurs in many localities in beautiful crystals, but 
too small to cut for gems. Many veins of it, and one large area 
containing over 300 square feet of the mineral, were met with in 
the sinking of Shaft No. 2 of the West Shore Railroad, at Wee- 
hawk en, N, J. Scarcely any of the crystals were stout enough 
to afford gems. This beautiful, limpid white mineral occurs abun- 
dantly all along Bergen Hill where tunnelling has been carried 
on, and fine crystals have been found in the Lake Superior cop- 
per region. None have been sold for gems in the United 
States, although when suitable crystals are found, it is occasion* 
ally used for the letter N in initial jewelry. 


Fluorite, in the colored transparent varieties, is desig- 
nated as false ruby, emerald, sapphire, topaz, amethyst, etc. 
Thirty years ago many specimens of the green variety were found 
at Muscalonge Lake, St, Lawrence County, N. Y., where the 
mineral was taken out from a vein which ran under the lake ; and 
in the autumn of 1888, an immense cavity lined with large 
cubic crystals of green fluorite was discovered at Macomb. This 
furnished groups measuring nearly two feet across and single 
composite crystals nearly a foot across, in all, several tons of 
fine crystals. The largest deposits in the United States are at 
Rosiclaire, Shawneetown, and Elizabethtown, Hardin County, 
111., and some thousands of tons are annually mined there, 
crystals of the richest purple, yellow, red, rose-colored, green, 
and other shades being very common. It differs from English 














■E 4 

£ D 



Theoretical Composition . . 
Anatysis . 

i E 

Colorless. , 

Wheatley Mine, Penn. 1 . 









Lehigh Co., Penn. 3 .,.. 
Lehigh Co., Penn. 3 


49 20 


3 ’ 2 1 

i i 

Green. , , , . 






X Analyst. J- L. Smith. J. Lawrence Smith. Am, j. Sci. fa>, ao, 3 $^ Ptoc. Am. Ass'n, 1865. Erdm, J, fur pr T Ch r 432-3, 1S55, 
3 , 3 Analyst, K. F, Smith. Ji, F r Smith , Am. Chem, Jour., Vol. 3. p. 2^3, 

fluorite in that the crystalline faces in nearly all the specimens 
are dull, and the colors show only by transmitted light. Crys- 
tals a foot across were observed here twenty years ago dur- 
ing the workings of the Rosiclaire lead mine. In the mounds 
of this region it has occasionally been found shaped into orna- 
ments by the hand of prehistoric man. This is the only instance 
that is known of its being used as an ornament. The amount 
mined here for the arts amounts to over $15,000 a year. On the 
Cumberland River, Tenn., and at Pike’s Peak, Col., some fine 
crystals of a blue-green fluorite have been found ; also yellow 
crystals in the geodes of the limestone at St. Louis, Mo. One 
of the most remarkable varieties of this mineral is a chlorophane 
from the microlite localities at Amelia Court House, Va., which 
has been described by W. M. Fontaine, 1 who also noted the 
brilliancy of the phosphorescent light that it gives out at a low 

1 Am, J. Sci* III,, Vo!. 25, p. 330, May, 1883 Minerals in Amelia County, Va 



temperature. Pallas mentions a specimen from Siberia, of a pale 
violet color, which the heat of the hand caused to give out a 
white light merely ; the heat of boiling water, a green light ; and 
when on a live coal, it gave out a bright emerald-green light that 
might be discerned from a distance. The writer found that while 
handling a few specimens of this mineral in the dark, phosphor- 
escence resulted from the slightest attrition of the specimens, 
either one with another, or with a nail or any hard substance. 
In a dark room, at a temperature of about 8o° Fahr. f the Amelia 
County mineral shows a white, luminous glow, which is intensified 
by the warmth of the hand ; when placed in boiling water, it be- 
comes green ; and on a heated iron plate, an intense emerald- 
green* Most of the material is more or less flawed, so as to ren- 
der it very friable under touch. This variety is of a light-green or 
a yellowish-green color/ and seems to phosphoresce at even a 
lower temperature than the more compact form. A stone cut 
from this material and placed in a vial of warm water fluoresced 
distinctly in a dark room, after being in the water a few minutes, 
thus giving a new form of gem, that is, a fluorescent gem stone, 
though not hard enough for continuous wear, 

J. Sci. III., VoL 28, p. 235, Sept., 1884. 


Serpentine, Bowen ite, Williamsite, Microiite, Meerschaum, Apatite, Beryllonite, Lazultte, 
Cassiterite, Hematite, Lodestone, Rutile, Octahedrite, Brookite, Arkansite, 
Titanic Iron, Titanite, Malachite, Chrysocolla, Azuriie, 

Aragonite, Fossil Coral, Pyrite, 

S ERPENTINE is found in many localities in the United 
States, and of a quality to fit it for use for ornaments, 
although it is little used for that purpose, and finds its 
greatest demand for decorative and building purposes. 
The dark-green noble serpentine found at Newburyport, Mass., 
has been cut into oak and other leaf forms for ornaments. The 
golden and greenish-yellow serpentine of Montville, N. J., is of 
the precious variety, and takes an excellent polish. In this local- 
ity serpentine occurs associated with crystalline dolomite, and 
many fine specimens in different collections were obtained, during 
the process of quarrying this rock, for burning into quicklime or 
for flux in iron furnaces. It occurs in small seams or veins, or in 
isolated nodules from a few inches to several feet in diameter. 
George P. Merrill, of the United States National Museum, has 
written an exhaustive paper on this subject.' He has found that 
the white and gray nuclei which often exist in the centre of these 
nodules of serpentine are pyroxene, and by analysis and micros- 
copic examination has proved that this serpentine is the result of 
an alteration from pyroxene. The beautiful series of polished 
specimens in the United States National Museum and in Yale 
University show all the changes from pyroxene to serpentine. 

1 See Proc, U. S, Nat. Mus, t iS 38 , p. 105, 



1 86 


The serpentine of St. Lawrence County, N. Y., also that of Corn- 
wall, Monroe, and Warwick, Orange County, N. Y., the ophiolite 
of New York City and vicinity, the serpentine of New Rochelle, 
N, Y. f also some of the Hoboken, N. J., and the Staten Island 
varieties are useful for ornamental and decorative purposes. 

On Deer Island, Me*, serpentine of a very light-green color 
occurs. The serpentine from the neighborhood of Patterson, 
Caldwell County, N* C., is of a dark greenish-black color, and 
admits of a fine polish, 1 In several localities in Delaware County, 
Pa., it occurs in combination with calcite. Serpentine is quarried 
chiefly in three places, Roxbury, Vt; Moriah, Essex County, N. Y.; 
and Dublin, Harford County, Md. The Vermont stone is deep 
green in color, traversed by white veins of calcite, and takes a 
beautiful polish. It compares very favorably with the Italian 
verde antique or verde di Prato, from the quarries in Tuscany* 
The Moriah stone, which is similar in color, but granular in tex- 
ture, and spotted rather than veined, is found in the market in the 
form of mantels, table-tops, ornaments, and similar objects* The 
Maryland stone is more uniformly green in color than either of the 
others, and contains very little calcareous matter* It is within 
easy reach of Baltimore, According to Prof. Genth, who re- 
ported on this locality in 1875, it consists of a very large bed of 
green serpentine, about 500 feet in thickness, overlying a bed of 
black mottled serpentine about 800 feet in thickness ; in the 
latter, masses of the green serpentine are frequently found im- 
bedded* Beneath this immense bed of serpentine is a smaller 
bed of green serpentine, 180 feet in thickness, and beneath this, 
there is a third bed of green serpentine* Of its quality, he says : 
“Everywhere it shows exactly the same character, but, as should 
be expected, that which came from a greater depth showed a 
somewhat lighter color and greater compactness/' He concludes 
that beyond doubt there is an inexhaustible quantity of this green 
serpentine in the most favorable position for mining on a large 
scale, and with an abundant water-power to manufacture it into 
marketable forms. A coarse serpentine, used for building pur- 
poses, but not suited for ornamental work, is quarried in consid- 
erable quantities in Chester County, Pa. The stone is dull green 

1 Minerals of North Carolina, p. 57. 

in color, soft enough to work readily, and capable of producing most 
excellent effects, particularly in rock-faced work and rubble work. 
It has been used extensively in Philadelphia and vicinity, where It 
was employed in the construction of the buildings of the University 
of Pennsylvania and the Academy of Natural Sciences, and it has 
also been used to some extent In New York City and Washington , 1 
Bowenite is a variety of serpentine found in some quantity at 
Smithfield, R. I, T varying in color from a pure white through light 
green to deep green. It is the “jade’' and “nephrite" of the 
early American mineralogists, so-called on account of its remark- 
able toughness and its hardness* * As yet, however, no archaeolog- 
ical objects made from it have been found. Its rich color and 
peculiar toughness and hardness suggest it for use, to some extent, 
where jade has previously been employed. Prof, Genth* mentions 
as having been found at Easton, Pa,, a bowenite of a greenish 
and reddish-white color and of great tenacity, frequently contain- 
ing a small quantity of tremolite, The ease with which this 
material is worked, and the effective designs that can be made 
from it, suggest It for decorative purposes. Analyses of serpen- 
tine from Hartford Co,, Wilmington, Del,, by Professor Genth 
have been made with the following result: 


Theoretical Composition' 
AND Properties* 

Deep Green 



Silicic Acid, 

Alumina,,. ,,..* 

Chromic Oxide 

Nickel Oxide., , * * , 
Ferrous Oxide. 
Manganous Oxide, 



Magnetic Iron 


Specific Gravity, 

Williamsite is a variety of serpentine found in Texas, Lan- 
caster County, Pa., and in Maryland. Owing to its rich green 
color, and the ease with which it can be cut, it has been used to a 

1 Cf, Building and Ornamental Stones of the United States, by George P. Merrill, Pop, 
Sci, Monthly, Vol, 27, p. 520, 

* Contributions to Mineralogy (1876). 


4 °' 39 

i *37 





* 2 3 , 















i ifll 







limited extent in jewelry for charms and other ornaments* It is 
usually of a more pleasing color than jade, and varies from a dark 
green to light apple-green and emerald-green shades* William- 
site is one of the handsomest known opaque or transparent stones, 
rivaling in richness many of the varieties of green jade. The 
grayish-green serpentinous substance found at Pelham, Mass., 
named pelhamine by Prof. Charles U, Shepard, admits of a very 
good polish, which produces a curious effect. 

Microlite has been found at the Allen Mica Mines, in Amelia 
Court House, Amelia County, Va., in beautiful crystals, some of 
which weigh 4 pounds each, but are opaque* The finest of these, 


Color * 

Tantalum Oxide ............. 

Columbium Oxide 

Tungstic Acid 

Stannic Acid (Binoxide of Tin) 


Magnesia. * . 

Beryllia * 

Uranium Oxide * 

Yttria * 

Cerium Oxide 

Didymium Oxide 


Ferric Oxide . 

Soda , . 

Potassa . 

Fluorine. * 

Water * 

Hardness . 

Specific Gravity .... ..... 


Hyacinth Red. 


i r8o 

* ’59 

0- 13 

1- 17 

Amelia County. Va. E 

1 Analyst, F. R Dunnmgton. Am. J. Sci. (3), 22, 82 and 25, 335, 

a transparent specimen, is in the cabinet of Clarence S. Bement ; 
it is about -1 of an inch long, and in part a rich honey-yellow, hav- 
ing all the color of topazolite, with a higher lustre. Some crystals 
are of sufficient transparency to afford gems ranging in color 
from an essonite-red to a rich spinel-yellow and are of remarkable 
brilliancy. Microlite has the highest specific gravity of any 
known gem, being about 6, 1 

Meerschaum, or sepiolite, has occasionally been met with in 
compact masses of smooth, earthy texture in the serpentine quar- 

1 See A Transparent Crystal of Microlite, by William E* Hidden, Am. J, Sci. III., Vol* 30, 
p. 82, July, 1SS5. 





ries of Mest Nottingham Townships Chester County, Pa. 
Only a few pieces have been found, but they were of good qual- 
ity* It also occurs in grayish and yellowish-white masses in the 
serpentine in Concord, Delaware County, Pa. Masses of pure 
white material, weighing a pound each, have been found in Middle- 
town, in the same county, and of equally good quality at the 
Cheever Iron Mine, Richmond, Mass., in pieces over an inch 
across; also in the serpentine at New Rochelle, Westchester 
County, N, Y. 

Apatite is found in such remarkably perfect and fine-colored 
crystals in the tourmaline locality of Auburn, Me,, that the hill on 
which it occurs has been named Mount Apatite* The crystals are 
transparent green, pink, and violet, and so closely resemble 
tourmaline as to have been mistaken for it. Some of the local 
collectors attempted to cut them, but without success, for the 
hardness is too low for a transparent gem* 

Beryllonite was first found near Stoneham, Me*, in 1886, and 
this is still the only locality known. Owing to the great trans- 
parency and brilliancy of the mineral, as well as its form of crys- 
tallization, it at first suggested topaz, and was for a time over- 
looked, but Prof. E. S. Dana on examination found it to be a new 
species, to which he gave the name beryllonite. 1 It was analyzed 
by Horace L. Wells, of the Sheffield Scientific School, who found 
that it had the following composition : 

Phosphoric Acid 55-86 

Beryllium Oxide. * 19' 84 

Soda . * 23-64. 

Moisture , . , . * o’oS 


From which the formula Na 3 0.2Be0.P a 0 5 , or NaBcPQ 4 was 

Its hardness was found to be 5*6 to 6 and its specific grav- 
ity 2*84, From the great number of its cavities filled with water 
or carbon dioxide, its lustre and the iridescence of the crystals 
when viewed from the pyramid face, it strikingly resembles the 
white topaz of Stoneham, Me. The transparency and brilliancy 
of this mineral fit it for a mineralogical gem. 

1 See Description of the New Mineral* Beryllonite, by Edward S, Dana and Horace L. 
Wells, Am. J. Sd. Ill*, Vol, 37, p* 23, Jan. 1SS9. 


Lazulite Is found in dark-blue crystals and crystalline masses 
at Crowders and Chubb's Mountains in Gaston County, and 
at Coffee Gap, Sauratown, Stokes County, N. C. At Graves 
Mount, Lincoln County, Ga., however, are found the finest sky- 
blue and dark-blue crystals known, often measuring from y an 
inch to 2 inches In length, and quite compact, and of good color. 




- i'” 
0 b-£-< 

















Theoretical Composition 

46 'So 


4 ° 39 

34 'oe, 
31 ‘22 

29 t 4 




13 20 
It> - C ?2 




2 "83 

6 J oo 

S -6S 

6 47 



North Carolina 
North Carol! n a 2 ., - 
Rccwatin, Canada J 

506 0 


Blue., - 

Typical Analysis. . . 


i, = Analysts Smith & Brush. Oacia, Mineralogy. 5*h Dd., [>■ 572. 

3 Analyst, C. Hoffman. Hoffman, Report ofGeol. of Can., p. 

Its hardness is 6, and its specific gravity is 3*122. This mineral 
would make an opaque gem or an ornamental stone, as the color, 
though lighter, is often as rich as that of lapis lazuli, for which it 
was mistaken when first found. 

Cassiterite has not been observed in fine crystals, what has 
been found being clear enough to cut only small transparent 
gems. The wood-tin of Durango, Mex., is used to a very limited 
extent on the Pacific coast, the stone being simply polished fiat, 
and strikingly resembles a dark wood. The finer crystals of cas- 









a . 














Brownish white 
to reddish brown . 

Rockbridge Co., Va.U 

M '895 







l Am- Chciri, Jour-. VoL 6, p. 1B7. 

siterite found at Hebron, Auburn, Norway, and Paris, Me., would 
afford mineralogical gems. The claims in the Temescal Range, 
in San Bernardino County, as well as the locality near San Diego, 
Cal., may yet yield specimens of this mineral equal to that from 
Durango, Mex. The important occurrence at the Broad Arrow 
Mines, two miles from Ashland, Clay County, Ala., may pro- 
duce both the crystals and the stream-tin. No transparent 


crystals have been found at the Black Hills, Dak* William P. 
Blake mentions finding on Jordan Creek, Owyhee County, 
Idaho, a very fine specimen of wood tin, to £ inch across, and 
of a very pure and clear material. Cassiterite has also been 
found in large quantities at Kings Mountain, N. C., and in 
Rockbridge County, Va, though none of these places has 
yielded a single fine gem, or has as yet been worked with com- 
mercial success for tin. 

With the exception of small, richly-colored pieces that have 
been discovered near Gainesville, Ga., hematite is rarely com- 
pact enough for cutting, although one of the most abundant 
ores of iron, and found in many localities in the United States. 
Most of the gems that are sold in the United States come from 
abroad, where the mineral and labor of cutting are inexpensive* 
The foreign material used is the straight, compact, fibrous vari- 
ety, and is usually cut in the form of small balls, which are sup- 
posed to resemble black pearls, but their lustre is higher and 
more metallic* It is also cut Into cubes, into various charms and 
intaglio cane-heads. 

Lodestone, or native magnet, is the iron oxide that pos- 
sesses magnetic properties. Although not used as a gem at 
present, it was worn centuries ago for the power it was supposed 
to possess and for the charm it was presumed to give the wearer* 
Large quantities of it are found at Magnet Cove, Ark. It is 
estimated that several tons are sold annually to the southern 
negroes to be used by the voudoos, who employ it as a conjuring 
stone. In July, 1887, an interesting case was tried in Macon, 
Ga*, where a negro woman sued a conjurer to recover $5 which 
she had paid him for a piece to serve as a charm to bring back 
her wandering husband* As the market price of the magnet 
was only seventy cents a pound, the judge ordered the money 

Rutile is pure titanium oxide. Specimens from Graves 
Mountain, Lincoln County, Ga., and from Alexander County, 
N. C*, rival any that have been found; the former for beauty of 
color, polish and sharpness of crystals, as well as for their great 
size, and the latter for their perfection, wonderful polish, and 
fine color. At Graves Mountain, rutile occurs with lazulite. 


The rutile crystals are in nearly all cases imbedded in a 
compact red oxide of iron that can be readily removed by 
hydrochloric acid, or by means of some sharp instrument, leav- 
ing on the surfaces a mirror-like polish. The crystals vary in 
length from ^ an inch up to 5 inches, and are in single crystals, 
twins, and vierlings, often in fine groups. The rutile from this 
locality has realized at least $20,000 for cabinet specimens, and 
has supplied the collections of the world through the perse- 
verance of Prof. Charles U. Shepard. The finest small brilliant 
geniculated crystals are found at Millholland’s Mills, White 
Plains, near Liberty Church, and near Popular Springs, in Alex- 
ander County, N. C. These have furnished some of the finest 
cut black rutile, more closely approaching the black diamond in 
appearance than any other gem. Some of the lighter colored 
ones furnish gems strongly resembling common garnet. Beauti- 
ful long crystals, at times transparent red, ranging from the 
thickness of a hair to $ and in some instances f inch across, and 
from 1 inch to 6 inches in length, often doubly terminated and 
very brilliant, have been found at Taylorsville, Stony Point and 
vicinity, North Carolina. Fine crystals are also found in 
quartz as well as loose in the soil in Sadsbury Township, Pa., 
for seven miles along the valley, especially near Parkesburgh, 
where double geniculations forming complete circles have been 
found, some weighing over a pound each. This is the 
“ money stone ” of the inhabitants of the district, who search for 
it because they can obtain money for it from the collectors ; 
hence the name. Some of the finer stones, as well as the beau- 
tiful geniculated nigrine from Magnet Cove, would well serve 
as natural ornaments. As early as 1836, the rutile of Middle- 
town, Conn., was cut by Prof. Charles U. Shepard into gems 
that were almost ruby-red in color. On St. Peter’s Dome, in 
the Pike’s Peak region, jet-black rutile occurs as black tetrag- 
onal crystals about f inch (10 millimeters) long. 

Octahedrite is reported as occurring in small crystals at 
Dexter’s lime rock, Smithfield, R. I., and in flat, tabular, glassy 
crystals of a pale-green color and very brilliant, in the gold 
sands of Brindletown Creek and elsewhere in Burke and the 
adjoining counties of North Carolina. These would probably 



afford small gems that would compare favorably with the beauti- 
ful blue crystals from Brazil, which are so brilliant as to have 
been mistaken for diamonds. 

When the lead mines at Ellenville, Ulster County, N. Y., 
were worked in 1858, some remarkable flat ruby-red crystals of 
brookite were found on the quartz crystals ; and at Magnet Cove, 
Ark., brilliant crystals of the variety of this mineral known as 
arkansite are found in great profusion, at times transparent 
and of honey-yellow color. The mineral does not readily 
admit of polish, and hence has little use as a gem. 

Compact titanic iron admits of a high polish, especially the 
porphyritic menaccanite from Cumberland, R. I., in which the 
included quartz crystals form a very pretty contrast with the 
deep black color of the polished titanic iron. It has been cut 
for ornaments to some extent by Edwin Passmore, of Hope, 
R. I., and resembles a dark black porphyry. At Magnet Cove, 
Ark., ilmenite or titanic iron is found in fine bright crystals, 
which take a brilliant polish and form natural ornaments of 
considerable beauty. 

Titanite or sphene is met with abundantly in black and 
brown crystals in St. Lawrence and Orange Counties, N. Y, 










rt „ U 

be 3U 
s 5-5 

1 0 



< 1 




r£ --ft 


Theoretical Composition 

A nil lysis. .... 


20 45 





28 "a£ 
21 '75 

29 "1 1 

| trace 

Ivchigh Co.* Penn. 1 
Statesville* H. 

Yellowish white* Vitreous 

i Specific Gravity, Analysts, E. B. Knerr ami E, F, 5 midi, Smith, Am. Chcm. jour,, VqI. 6, 4U> 

1 Ignition, 060; Specific Gravity, 3-4^, Analyst, F. A. Genth. F, A. Genth, Proc, Am. Phil. Soc., iSBfi, 23, 30, 

Some remarkably fine crystals of titanite have been found at 
Bridgewater, Bucks County, Pa. Certain of these, over an inch 
long, and very transparent in parts, are of rich greenish-yellow 
and vitreous golden shades, equaling in color the finest from 
Tyrol, and would afford gems weighing from 10 to 20 carats 
each, that would show a play of colors rather adamantine than 
opalescent. Fine crystals from this locality are now in the 
cabinet of Clarence S. Bement, the William S. Vaux Cabinet, 
Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and the Peabody 
Museum, New Haven. Many yellow crystals over an inch long 


have been found in the hornblendic gneiss on the Schuylkill 
River, near Philadelphia, and in yellow crystals with sunstone, 
in Kennett Township, Chester County, Pa. Some small yellow 
crystals were found at Fort George, N.Y,, by William Niven, one 
of which was cut into a transparent gem weighing i of a carat. 
Diana, Lewis County, N. Y., was a famous locality thirty years 
ago, but crystals from there are now scarcely mentioned since 
the large dark-brown ones have been discovered at various 
places in Canada. 

Malachite, although occurring in many localities in the 
United States, and occasionally in considerable abundance, as 
one of the ores, or associated with other ores or copper, is 
obtained in gem form only in Arizona, chiefly at the Copper 
Queen Mine, at Bisbee. One mass weighing 15 pounds is now 
in the State Museum at Albany, N. Y,, and others, nearly as 
large, and equaling the Russian in quality, have been found, 
which, by piecing, will furnish table-tops. One of the finest 
specimens of the velvety form of crystals is a piece from the 
side of a large cavity, over a foot across, in the American 
Museum of Natural History, New York City. It is one side 
of a geode filled with stalactites coated with the richest deep- 
green, velvet-like crystals of malachite. Many of the stalactites 
at Bisbee are over a foot long, an inch across, and are often 
curiously entwined. Veins of this mineral from 1 to 4 inches 
thick have also been found there. It is to be regretted that 
thousands of tons of this beautiful mineral have been put into 
the furnace for the copper it contains. One very fine, compact, 
fibrous mass of dark-green malachite from the McCullock Mine, 
that would cut into a cube an inch square, is in the cabinet of 
Clarence S, Bement. Hoffmann mentions malachite in massive 
concretions in Copper Cafion, Galena district, and at Mineral 
Hill, Nev. At Ducktown, Tenn., some fine, radiated masses 
have been found that would polish well. At the Jones Mine, 
Berks County, Pa., very dark-green and finely mottled mala- 
chite was found that would cut into gems over 2 inches across. 
Some of the finest of these specimens are in the cabinet of Will- 
iam W. Jefferis. The material from this locality equals that 
from Arizona, but the supply is very limited. Malachite is 


found in North Carolina, in Guilford, Cabarrus, and Mecklen- 
burgh Counties. The fibrous variety has been observed at 
Silver Hill and at Conrad Hill, in Davidson County, and in a 
number of other localities in North Carolina, but is rarely of 
any gem value. In the Torrey Collection at the United States 
Assay Office, in New York City, are a few fine gem pieces of 
malachite from the Copper Knob Mine in Ashe County, N. C. 








p pv 



Theoretical Composition. 
Analysis , 

7 1 d 6 

Q" 12 

* 9 ' 9 * 



9 -CfZ 


Green .... 

Wheatly Wine, Penn 3 . . . - 

i Analyst, JL L,* Smith* J * Lawrence Smith, Am* J, Sci. so, 249- 

At Morenci, Arjz., there have been found masses of azurite and 
malachite resulting from the alteration of azurite. These 
masses are botryoidal in form, so that if the tops of the spheres 
are cut across, the two minerals are shown in distinct alternate 
layers (often two to four layers of each) and bandings, forming 
most beautiful ornamental stones, which are often from 1 to 6 
inches across, and admit of a very high polish, that produces 











u ' 

55 x 




Pnn™ fiAtj t i rin 

69 20 




Analysis . * . . . 

Deep blue, . 

Wheatly Mine, Penn., 



J. L, Smith. 1 

l J. 1.3% rente Smith, Am, J. Sci, (a), 30, 550, 

a novel and pleasing effect. If it were found in sufficient 
quantity, it would make a valuable ornamental stone. Rus- 
kin has likened this combination of colors to the “ green of 
the fields and the blue of the sky,” and notwithstanding the 
strong contrast, the blending makes it a harmonious one. The 
association is entirely new and one of the most beautiful ever 
found. There is little or no demand for this stone outside of 
Russia, where clocks, jewel-caskets, mantels, table-tops, and 
doors are covered with a thin veneer of carefully-pieced mala- 
chite, cemented on slate or marble, not made of solid blocks as 
is often supposed. 


With the malachite at Copper Queen Mine is a variety 
which has proved on examination to consist of equal parts of 
carbonate of lime and carbonate of copper. This is slightly 
harder than malachite, and the name, calcomalachite, indicating 
its composition, has recently been suggested for it. Like mala- 
chite, it admits of a fine polish and is susceptible of similar 

A beautiful compact chrysocolla, mixed with quartz, is 
found at the Allouez Mine, Houghton, Lake Superior region. 
Some of the specimens would furnish fine, rich, bluish-green 
gems half an inch square. Specimens of chrysocolla from the Cop- 
per Queen Mine, Ariz., coated with quartz and chalcedony, fur- 
nish beautiful gems when the polish on the layer of quartz chalce- 
dony is thin enough to allow the chrysocolla to show through. 
In one case, these markings resembled a human head. 

Aragonite (carbonate of lime) or “satin spar,” from near 
Dubuque, Iowa, especially that from Rice’s Cave, and in the re- 
markably fine forms known as the “ floss ferri ” variety, from 
near Rapid City, Dak., would admit of the same uses as com- 
mon satin spar. The satin spar gypsum or sulphate of lime, 
while made so extensively into ornaments and sold at Niagara 
Falls and many tourists’ resorts, is, almost without exception, im- 
ported from Wales, though some few of the common white 
gypsum ornaments sold at Niagara are cut from the gypsum 
found in the vicinity. On Goat Island large masses of gypsum 
are found, and occasionally even under the Falls, where the ma- 
terial for all the ornaments sold there is supposed to be found. 
Beautiful selenite occurs there, but no satin spar. 

The dark amber-colored and brown aragonite (California 
onyx) from California is extensively used as an ornamental 
stone, but not as a gem stone. Many thousands of dollars' 
worth are annually used by marble workers and for decorative 

In theLuray and other American caves are found calcare- 
ous concretions called cave pearls, which consist either of 
pieces of stalagmite worn round by falling water or of similar 
pieces forming nuclei on which successive layers of carbonate 
of lime have been deposited. 



Fossil corals, consisting of carbonate of lime, often possess 
great structural beauty and are very compact and susceptible 
of high polish. Along the shores of Little Traverse Bay, at Pe- 
toskey, Mich,, are found water-worn pieces of fossil coral 
of various species, ranging from fragments the size of a 
small pebble to masses of 2 or 3 pounds weight. The spaces or 
cells of these corals are entirely filled with carbonate of lime, 
and being very compact, they take a fine polish. In color they 
are of various shades of gray, and many of them are exceed- 
ingly handsome. Visitors to Petoskey, which is a popular 
summer resort, gather the corals, and to show the structure 
keep them in bottles of water or give them a coat of var- 
nish. The lapidaries of the place cut and polish these corals, 
and at present probably $4,000 or $5,000 worth are annually 
sold by them, either polished on one side, or in the form of 
seals, charms, cuff-buttons, paper-weights, and other ornaments. 
They are first ground on a Berea grindstone, then a polish is 
put on with four successive grades of emery, and they are finally 
polished on Spanish felt moistened with oxalic add and lead 
ashes. The fossil corals found near Dubuque and Iowa City, 
Iowa, are magnificent in color and structure, and fine pieces 
often exceed a foot in width. They have been used to some 
extent in jewelry, shaped into stones for cuff, shirt, and vest 
buttons, the light cream-color making a very quiet, rich stone 
for this purpose. 

Pyrite or sulphide of iron is found in many localities in the 
United States, and one variety occurs in crusts or groups of 
small, brilliant crystals with slate in the coal regions. These 
crusts are trimmed and cut into ovals, squares, and other shapes, 
and sold for mounting as scarf-pins, lace-pins, ear-rings, and 
ring-stones, as well as other ornaments. Fine single crystals 
are also sold for ornaments, principally at Mauch Chunk and 
the summit of the Switchback Railway, and by the local jewelers 
at Ashland, Shenandoah, and Mahanoy City, in Schuylkill 
County, who obtain their finest specimens from the Raven Run 
Mine, six miles from Mahanoy City, Pa* Magnificent groups 
and fine single crystals with a very high polish have been found 
at Black Hawk and other mines in Colorado and sold for 



ornaments just as they are found, principally at Denver, Color- 
ado Springs, and other places in the West. Perhaps $1,000 
worth a year is disposed of in this way. The Colorado crystals 
are compact enough to cut into the faceted gem known in Europe 
as “ marcasite,” which was extensively mounted in gold during 
the last century, but has been almost entirely superseded by 
the introduction of bright steel jewelry. 

Cobaltite, a sulphide of cobalt, is occasionally cut abroad to 
be used as a gem and then resembles a flesh-colored pyrite. It 
is not found of fair quality anywhere in the United States. 

Little amber of commercial value has been found in the 
United States. Though its occurrence in several places has been 
noted, the specimens are believed to be derived from a species 
of tree quite different from those which yield the Baltic amber. 
The earliest description of amber found in this country is 
given by Dr. Gerald Troost, 1 who describes two varieties, one 
opaque, the other translucent, which had been discovered at 
Cape Sable, Magothy River, Anne Arundel County, Md. Both 
these varieties showed a mixture of the various shades of yellow, 
gray, and brown, the colors being sometimes arranged in nearly 
concentric zones displaying the most beautiful tints, and some- 
times in alternate bands, spots, dots, and clouds, as in agate or 
jasper. Some of this amber was also wax- or honey-yellow. 
The transparent variety, which in external appearance resembled 
colophony gum and had a high lustre, was sparingly found. 
The opaque variety is described as “ very dull.” Both varieties 
broke easily and exhibited a perfectly conchoidal fracture, their 
hardness being identical with that of the amber found near the 
Baltic Sea. Their specific gravity varied from 1 ’07 to 1 ’o8, 
the difference being due, in the opinion of Dr. Troost, to small 
particles of pyrites with which the cavities were sometimes 
lined. Some of the specimens were only slightly electrical, 
while others exhibited this quality in a greater degree. Dr. 
Troost also described a variety of amber which occurred in 
fragments or friable, porous masses, of about the size of a wal- 
nut, mixed with iron pyrites, and having a dull, earthy aspect. 
These fragments, which were all found in an alluvial formation, 

1 Am. J. ScL I., Vol. 3, p* S, Jam I$2I, 



could be crumbled easily when rubbed between the fingers, 
and in external appearance resembled clods of loam or 
of stiff soil. They were of a gray or yellowish-gray 
color, and when burned gave out the odor, and indeed 
seemed to possess the other properties, of melted amber. 
But few specimens of the amber described by Dr. Troost are 
found in the collections of this country ; his conclusions, 
however, are accepted as correct. A small specimen of the 
Magothy River amber came into the writer’s possession 
from a collection made about fifty years ago. This resembles 
the Baltic amber more closely than does that from New Jersey. 
The specimen is a fractured piece, transparent, rich reddish- 
brown and yellow in color, like some of the beautiful amber 
from Catania, Sicily. It is believed that further search in this 
vicinity would lead to other discoveries. Dr, Philip R. Uhler is 
authority for the statement that amber has been found in a 
lignite bed about twenty-five miles from Baltimore, but in very 
small quantities. In New Jersey it has been found in a great num- 
ber of localities. As early as 1762, John Bartram, in a letter 
to Dr. Elliot, states that amber was found in New Jersey near 
the Delaware “ in pieces nearly a pound in weight, and fitted to 
make a good cane-head.” Prof. George H. Cook, State Geolo- 
gist of New Jersey, says' that amber is found irregularly dis- 
tributed in all parts of the marl region. Marl-pits in every 
county of the region have furnished specimens, but the finding 
of one specimen does not insure the finding of others in the 
same locality. Pieces enough to have filled a barrel are 
said to have been taken from one marl-pit at Shark River, 
about the year 1856, but since that time, in looking over 
many hundreds of tons of marl, not a fragment was found. The 
mineral is yellow in color, but is not so compact or so lustrous 
as good specimens of foreign amber. 

Prof. Henry D. Rogers, State Geologist of Pennsylvania, 
mentions the occurrence of amber twice.’ At Vincentown, Bur- 
lington County, N. J., it was found with asphaltum in the creta- 
ceous marl above the green sand. The locality was reported by 

* The Geology of New Jersey (Newark, IS6S), p, 2 S3. 

3 Description of the Geology of the State of New Jersey (Philadelphia, 1840), 


Dr. E. Goldsmith to the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sci- 
ences, and the specimens, described as having a specific gravity 
less than i, fusing so as to be quite mobile, were regarded by 
him as related to the variety of succinite called “krantzite.” Dr. 
Charles C. Abbott ' mentions having several times found, in the 
bed of Cresswick’s Creek, small grains or pebbles of amber which 
he gave to William S. Vaux of Philadelphia, and which are now 
in the Academy of Natural Sciences. One of these pieces meas- 
ures 1x4x5 inches in thickness. He suggests that they are 
derived from beds of clay which are exposed in the bluff forming 
the southern bank of the creek. There are cretaceous clays 
near Trenton, in which occurs much fossil wood, in and upon 
which the occurrence of grains of amber is not unusual. These 
grains are usually very small and difficult to detect. The wood 
is soft and recent in appearance, burning with an uncertain, 
flickering flame, and the amber is evidently the fossilized sap 
of the wood found in these deposits of clay. This same locality 
is referred to in Comstock's “ Mineralogy” (Boston, 1827). Dr. 
Nathaniel L. Britton has observed traces of amber near Cam- 
den, in the cretaceous deposits. In February, 1883, the writer 
described’ a mass of amber 20 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 
1 inch thick, weighing 64 ounces, that had been found on Old 
Man’s Creek, near Harrisonville, Gloucester County, by Joseph 
B, Livezey. A quarter-inch section showed a grayish-yellow 
color, while a similar section, if inches thick, showed the color to 
be a light, transparent yellowish-brown. The entire mass was 
filled with botryoidal-shaped cavities filled with “glauconite” 
or green sand and traces of vivianite. Its hardness was very 
nearly the same as that of the Baltic amber, but it was perhaps 
slightly tougher, cutting more like horn, the cut surface show- 
ing a curious pearly lustre, differing in this respect from any 
other amber yet examined. The lustre is not produced by the 
impurities, for the clearest parts show it best, and the amber 
admits of a good polish. The specific gravity of a very pure 
piece of this amber was found to be i'o6i. This figure may 
be attributable to internal cavities, amber usually ranging from 

1 Science, Vol. i T p. 594. 

5 Am* j, ScL IIL t Vol. 25, p, 234, March, 1SS3, 



1*065 to 1*081. The specimen examined was found at a depth of 
28 feet, in a six-foot stratum of the middle marl-bed, in and 
under 20 feet of cretaceous marl* In 1886, a piece of amber 
was found on the southwest branch of Mantua Creek, near 
Sewell, Gloucester County, N. J., in the lower marl bed. Prof. 
Washington C. Kerr mentions the finding of succinite (amber) in 
lumps of several ounces weight, in Pitt County and elsewhere 
in the Tertiary marl beds of the eastern counties of North Car- 
olina. It is also found along the Chesapeake and Delaware 
Canal in Kent County, Del Dr. Edward Hitchcock 1 refers to 
one or two masses of amber weighing a pound that had been 
found in Marthas Vineyard, Gay Head, and Nantucket, and 
states his belief that they were from the Tertiary formation. In 
February, 1883, the writer exhibited and described before the 
New York Academy of Sciences an elongated and twisted 
mass of opaque, rich yellow-colored amber, weighing 12 
ounces, that had been found on the shore at Nantucket, Mass. 
This specimen, which was evidently from the Tertiary deposit, 
is now in the Amherst College Cabinet Other specimens have 
been found in this locality* The discovery of specimens of 
amber in one of the Union Pacific coal mines of the Laramie 
Beds, in Wyoming, was reported by F* F, Chisholm in 1885; 
but at that time the tests were not completed, so that its genu- 
ineness could not be asserted. The material that was brought 
to Denver was hard, highly electric, and of a good clear yellow 
color; the fusing point was a little low, and the odor of an 
ignited fragment slightly resembled that of burning india rub- 
ber. In places, the substance was found two inches thick," 1 

Amber, according to Charles G. Yale, is common in the 
lignite deposits on the peninsula of Alaska. It is also obtained 
in the alluvium of the delta of the Yukon River, and in the 
vicinity of most of the Tertiary coal deposits on the Fox Islands, 
being everywhere an article of ornament among the natives, 
who carve it into rude beads. The discovery of amber in large 
quantities in America would be of the greatest interest, for 
here, as in Europe, it would contain fossil remains that would 

J Am. J. Sci. L, VgI. 22 , p. 50, July, 1832. 

i Mineral Resources of the United States for 1SS5, p, 442* 


greatly increase our knowledge of the fauna and flora of past 
ages. Dr. Herman A. Hagen, of Cambridge, Mass., a native 
of Konigsberg, in East Prussia, whence the principal supplies of 
amber are obtained, writes : “ When I first saw the shores of 
the Lakes Huron and Michigan and the Island of Mackinaw, I 
was so struck by their resemblance to the shores of my native 
country, the very locality where amber is found, that I could not 
help thinking that here also amber would be found.” 1 It has 
been shown by Goppert that amber has been derived from 
eight species of plants besides the Pinites succinifer. He 
enumerates 163 species as occurring in amber. No one species 
has been observed in American amber. 


Chemical Composition 



Composition. 1 


South Amboy, N. J. 5 



Schriitter. 3 


?S *94 



Hydrogen . * * 


1 1*62 





i o* 9 S 



Specific gravity* ,..**** — * 

1080- 1*085 

] Text Book of Mineralogy (1871), by E. S. Dana, p. 393. 
5 Mineralogy of New York (1842b by L. C* Beck, p. 185, 
3 Phillips’ Mineralogy (1852), p* 630. 

Jet occurs in the Wet Mountain Valley, Trinchera Mesa, 
southeast Colorado, and in the coal seams of most coal-bearing 
rocks of Colorado. Some specimens a foot long and from 4 
to 5 inches wide and an inch thick have been found. It is 
sold only as mineral specimens, although it admits of as fine a 
polish as the finest jet from Whitby, Eng., where a large 
industry in the working of this material is carried on. The 
beautiful jet, rivalling any jet known, found in El Paso County, 
Col., is sold extensively as mineralogical specimens, but is little 
if at all used for ornamental purposes. This is chiefly owing to 
the fact that it has been almost entirely superseded by black 
onyx in the United States, owing to the hardness of the onyx 
and the cheapness with which it is furnished from Oberstein 
and the Idar. This onyx is colored black by allowing the 
chalcedony, which is porous, to absorb some carbonaceous sub- 

1 On Amber in North America, Proc, Boston Soc* of Nat. His*, VoL 1 6, p, 296, Feb*, 1S74* 



stance, such as sugar, molasses, blood, etc., and then putting it 
into the sulphuric acid, which chars the organic substance into 
dead black. 

Anthracite, one of the hard varieties of coal, is found in 
many places in eastern Pennsylvania, but the variety used for 
ornaments is procured from Mountain Top, near Glen Summit ; 
at the Franklin Mine, in Ashley; the Spring Tunnel Mine, the 
Summit Mine, and Nanticoke in Luzerne County, It is used 
as jewelry, and for ornamental purposes is carved into various 
trinkets, such as compass-cases, boots, hearts, anchors, and 
other small charms. It is also turned into cups, saucers, vases, 
candle-sticks, and paper-weights. The best work is done by a 
one-armed man at Glen Summit. Anthracite, like jet, could be 
made into beads and round ornaments to be used for scarf-pins, 
lace-pins, bracelets, and similar articles. The objects made 
often retain a ridge or ridges of the rough coal, while the other 
portions, being highly polished, form a striking contrast. These 
articles are sold at Scranton, Wilkesbarre, Pittston, Mauch 
Chunk, and the Summit Hill Station on the Switchback Rail- 
way, from $2,500 to $3,000 being expended for them annually. 

The following minerals found in the United States, when 
fibrous or cut en cabochon across the cleavages, will show the 
cat’s-eye ray : 

A dark-brown, almost black, crystal of corundum from 
Ellijay Creek, Macon County, N. C., when cut en cabochon, 
furnishes gems two-thirds of an inch across, and showing 
the cat’s-eye ray distinctly. The chrysoberyls of Stow, Peru, 
and Canton, Me., would cut into inferior cat’s-eyes. The milky 
beryls found at Stoneham, Me., and Branchville, Conn., and 
some of the North Carolina beryls, especially the fibrous, green, 
opaque beryl from Alexander County, would furnish cat’s-eyes, 
although not very fine. The so-called “Thetis’ hairstone,” 
described by Dr. Charles T. Jackson, found at Cumberland, 
R. I., is really quartz cat’s-eye with acicular crystals of 
actinolite, and cat’s-eyes of good quality have recently been 
cut from it by Edwin Passmore, of Hope, R. I., one of them 
nearly two-thirds of an inch long, and equal to many from 
Hoff, Bavaria. Prof. Frederick A. Genth states that quartz 


cat’s-eye has been observed in several localities in Pennsyl- 
vania. A hexagonal crystal with the pyramid of greenish 
color, resulting from very fine fibers of actinolite dissemi- 
nated through it, came from York County, Pa. It is found 
also five miles east of Bethlehem in the allanite locality, 
but not of gem quality. A curious, dark-gray piece of quartz, 
obtained from the West Shore Railway tunnel at Weehawken, 
N. J., was filled with what seemed to be byssolite, but really 
may be an altered pectolite ; it would cut a cat’s-eye of fair 
quality. A fibrous black hornblende from near Chester, Mass., 
and a white, compact, fibrous pyroxene from Tyringham, Mass., 
afforded imperfect cat’s-eyes. Some of the labrador spar, 
when filled with included minerals and impurities, will show the 
cat’s-eye ray; this is especially the case with the mineral found 
in Orange County, N. Y„ and in the northern part of the State. 
Hypersthene, bronzite, and enstatite, when fibrous and cut 
across the fiber, produce the effect, and are sold abroad as cat’s- 
eyes to a limited extent, Limonite from Salisbury, Conn., 
Richmond, Mass., and other American localities, can at times 
be cut into gems showing the cat’s-eye ray. Aragonite and 
gypsum (satin spars) both give the cat’s-eye effect. 

Catlinite or “ pipestone ” was stated by Dr. Charles T. 
Jackson to be a variety of steatite, but it is now regarded by 
James D. Dana as a rock and not a definite mineral species. 
It is found in large beds in the upper Missouri region, in 
Pipestone County, Minn., and at several points in Dakota, 
Minnesota, and Wisconsin, notably at Flandreau and Sioux 
Falls, Dakota ; Blue Earth River and Sac County, Iowa; Pipe 
Stone, Cottonwood, Watonwan, and Nicollet Counties, Minn., 
and in Barron County, Wis. In color it ranges from a deep red 
to an ashy tint. Reference is made to pipestone by Jacques 
Marquette, the Jesuit missionary, whose name is linked with the 
exploration of the upper Mississippi. He smoked the pipe of 
peace with the Illinois Indians as early as 1673, and gives the 
following exact description of that important utensil, the bowl 
of which consisted of red pipestone: “ It is made of polished 
red stone, like marble, so pierced that one end serves to hold 
the tobacco, while the other is fastened on the stem, which is a 



stick two feet long, as thick as a common cane and pierced in 
the middle. It is ornamented with the head and neck of differ- 
ent birds of beautiful plumage ; they also add large feathers of 
red, green, and other colors, with which it is all covered.” 1 2 * 
Carver tells us that near the Marble River “ is a mountain from 
whence the Indians get a sort of red stone, out of which they 
hew the bowls of their pipes,” 5 6 and adds that individuals belong- 
ing even to hostile tribes met in peace at the “ Red Mountain,” 
where they obtained the stone for their pipes. 5 Loskiel 4 and 
Dupraty s both refer to it in their works. George Catlin was 
the first white man that the Indians permitted to visit the local- 
ity. He not only described the spot very fully, but also painted 
a picture of it in 1836.' He says: “The place where the In- 
dians get the stone for their red pipes, the mineral, red steatite, 
a variety differing from any other known locality, is a wall of 
solid, compact quartz, gray and rose color, highly polished as if 
vitrified. The wall is two miles in length and thirty feet high, 
with a beautiful cascade leaping from its top into a basin. On 
the prairie, at the base of the wall, the pipeclay (steatite) is dug 
up at two and three feet depth. There are seen five immense 
granite boulders, under which there are two squaws, according 
to their tradition, who eternally dwell there — the guardian 
spirits of the place — and must be consulted before the pipe- 
stone can be dug up. The position of the pipestone quarry is 
in a direction nearly west from the Falls of St. Anthony, at a 
distance of 300 miles, on the summit of the dividing ridge be- 
tween the Saint Peter’s and the Missouri Rivers, being about 
equidistant from either. This dividing ridge is denominated by 
the French the ‘ Coteau des Prairies,’ and the pipestone quarry 
is situated near its southern extremity and consequently not 

1 Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley, by J. G, Shea (New York, 1852), 
P- 35* 

2 Travels through North America (Dublin, 1779)5 p. 95. 

* Cf. Ancient Aboriginal Trade in North America, by Charles Ran* Report of the Smith- 
sonian Institution for 1872, p* 23 of reprint. 

4 Missouri der Evangdischen Bruder unter den Indianem in Nordamcrika (Barly, 1789), 
p, 106. 

$ Histoire de la Louisiane (Paris, 1758). VoL 1, p. 326. 

6 Eight Years Amongst the North American Indians (New York, 1841), plate No. 270, Vol. 
2, p. 164. See also Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1885, part 2, p. 240* 


exactly on its highest elevation, as its general course is north 
and south and its southern extremity terminates in a gradual 
slope. Our approach to it was from the east, and the ascent, 
for the distance of fifty miles, over a continued succession of 
slopes and terraces, almost imperceptibly rising one above the 
other that seemed to lift us to a great height. The singular 
character of this majestic mound continues on the west side in 
its descent towards the Missouri. There is not a tree or bush 
to be seen from the highest summit of the ridge, though the eye 
may range east and west almost to a boundless extent, over a 
surface covered with a short grass that is green at one’s feet 
and about him, but changing to blue in distance, like nothing 
but the blue and vastness of the ocean.” Of his struggles with 
Indians to visit the place, he relates: “We were persisting in 
the most peremptory terms in the determination to visit their 
great medicine (mystery) place, where, it seems, they had often 
resolved no white man should ever be allowed to go. They 
took us to be ‘ officers sent by Government to see what this 
place was worth.’ As ‘this red stone was a part of their flesh,’ 
it would be sacrilegious for white men to touch or take it 
away — ‘ a hole would be made in their flesh and the blood 
could never be made to stop running.’ My companion, Robert 
S. Wood, and myself were in a fix, one that demanded the use 
of every energy we had about us. Astounded at so unexpected 
a rebuff, and more than ever excited to go ahead and see what 
was to be seen at this strange place, in this emergency we mu- 
tually agreed to go forward, even if it should be at the hazard 
of our lives.” He says, concerning the quarry itself: “The 
thousands of inscriptions and paintings on the rocks at this 
place, as well as the ancient diggings for the pipestone, will af- 
ford amusement for the world who will visit it, without furnish- 
ing the least data, I should think, of the time at which these 
excavations commenced, or of the period at which the Sioux 
assumed the exclusive right to it.” Mr. Catlin tells of the many 
superstitions about smoking among the Indians, and says: 
“ The red stone of which these pipebowls are made is, in my 
estimation, a great curiosity, inasmuch as I am sure it is a vari- 
ety of steatite (if it be steatite) differing from that of any 



known European locality, and also from any place known in 
America other than the one from which all these pipes come, 
and which are all traceable, I have found, to one source, and 
that source as yet unvisited, except by the red man, who de- 
scribed it everywhere as a place of vast importance to the In- 
dians, as given to them by the Great Spirit for their pipes and 
strictly forbidden to be used for anything else.” Specimens of 
the mineral were sent to Dr. Charles T. Jackson, of Boston, 
who was then “one of our best mineralogists and chemists.” 
He gave it the name “ cat Unite/* and pronounced it a new mineral 
compound, not steatite, harder than gypsum and softer than 
carbonate of lime* 

This locality was visited and referred to by Dr* Charles A* 
White 1 and subsequently described by Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden* 
He says; “On reaching the source of the Pipestone Creek, in 
the valley of which the pipcstone bed is located, 1 was surprised 
to see how inconspicuous a place it is. Indeed, had I not known 
of the existence of a rock in this locality so celebrated in this 
region, I should have passed it by almost unnoticed. The pipe- 
stone layer, as seen at this point, is about 1 1 inches in thickness* 
only about 2 \ inches of which are used for manufacturing pipes 
and other ornaments. The remainder is too impure, slaty, 
fragile, etc. A ditch from 4 to 6 feet wide and about 400 yards 
in length, extending partly across the valley of the Pipestone 
Creek, reveals what has thus far been done in excavating the 
rock.” a 

Longfellow's lines commemorate the Indian legend : 

“ From the redstone of the quarry 
With his hands he broke a fragment. 

Moulded it into a pipe-head, 

Shaped and fashioned it with figures ; 

From the margin of the river 
Took a long reed fora pipestem, 

With its dark-green leaves upon iu ,J 

Whether catlinite has been used to make pipes for any 
very great length of time is difficult to decide. According 
to Dr. Hayden, “the quarry belongs to a comparatively recent 

1 American Naturalist, Vol. 2, p, 644, Feb,, 1S69. 

" Am. J* Sci, II, , Vol. 43, p- 19, Jan*, 1867, 



period ” * 1 On the other hand, Edwin A. Barber, who has re- 
viewed the subject very thoroughly, believes that the stone of 
Coteau des Prairies and the adjacent territory must have been 
employed by native sculptors for several centuries at least, and 
in all probability for a much longer period . 1 Catlin, who 
studied the subject with much care, has published numerous 
drawings of the red pipes. These are shown in Thomas Don* 
aldson’s very elaborate memoir , 5 and bear testimony to the 
skill and patience of their makers, who in most cases possessed 
no other implements than the knives and files obtained from 
the traders. The cylindrical or conical cavities in the bowl and 


Chemical Composition 


Minnehaha Co., 
Dodge. 1 

Columbia River, 
Thomson. 3 

Columbia River, 
Thomson, 3 

Coteau du Prairie, 
Upper Missouri 

Color. . * * ,.,.,,*,,****,**** 

White to Yellowish. 

Gray Blue, 

Gray Blue. 

Silica * 





Alumina * . 

33' 30 




Ferric Oxide 




5 00 

Manganous Oxide * 


Carbonate of Lime, * 


Lime* * . . 

O' 60 

2*2 6 


Magnesia * . * . 


O' 1 1 


6' 00 


O' 60 


T sO 


I 2"8q 

Water, . , * * . , 

J j 



4- 57 


Hardness * . 


r 51 

Specific Gravity. 





1 James A. Dodge, Tenth Annual Report of the Geology and Natural History of Minnesota, 1SS1, p, 203. 
a , a Th. Thomson’s Mineralogy, p_ 2S8. 

* Chas* T, Jackson, Am, J, Set L* 35, 3&8* 

neck of these pipes are drilled with a hard stick and sharp sand 
and water. It has been suggested that the manufacture of stone 
pipes, necessarily a painful and tedious labor, may have formed 
a branch of aboriginal industry, and that in ancient times the 
skilful pipe-carver may have occupied among the Indians a 
rank equal to that of the experienced sculptor in our days. 
Even among modern Indians, pipemakers have sometimes been 
met with. Thus Dr. Kohl speaks of an Ojibway pipemaker 
whom he met near Lake Superior. “There are persons among 

1 Am. J. Sci, II., Vol, 43, p, 19, Jan., 1867, 

3 Catlinlte, Its Antiquity as a Material for Tobacco Pipes, Am, Nat*, Vol. 17, p, 745, July, 

3 Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1885, part 2 . 



them/’ he says, u who possess particular skill in the carving of 
pipes, and make it their profession, or at least the means of 
gaining part of their livelihood. He inlaid his pipes very taste- 
fully with figures of stars and flowers of black and white stones. 
Hls work proceeded very slowly, and he sold his pipes at from 
$3 to $5 each. The Indians sometimes pay much higher 
prices/* 1 Dr. Daniel Wilson mentions 3 an old Ojibway Indian, 
“ whose name is Pababmesad, or the Flier, but who, from his 
skill in pipemaking, is more commonly known as Pwahguneka 
— Hie makes pipes/” The stone is still worked into a large 
variety of ornamental pipes, that are sold at prices ranging from 
$i to $io each, and at times as high even as $20 for very large 
pieces of carving. Catlinite is also worked into a number of 
ornaments and into small charms of different kinds, which are 
offered to visitors at Minnehaha Falls, Lake Minnetonka, vari- 
ous hotels in St Paul and Minneapolis, and in Dakota as far 
west as Fort Sully, and find a ready sale. The amount sold an- 
nually is perhaps $10,000 worth. This stone, on account of its 
compactness, easy working, and the fine polish that it admits of, 
should find a more extended use. One curious spotted variety, 
red with white and gray spots, is very beautiful, and would 
make a good contrast with the common red pipestone in decora- 
tive work. 

1 Kitschi-Gami Oder Erzahlung Von Obern Sec (Bremen, 1856), VoU 2, p. 82. 

* Prehistoric Man (London. 1862), YoL 2, p. 15. 



P EARLS are lustrous concretions, consisting essen- 
tially of carbonate of lime interstratified with animal 
membrane, found in the shells of certain mollusks. 
They are believed to be the result of an abnormal secre- 
tory process caused by an irritation of the mantle of the mol- 
lusk consequent on the intrusion into the shell of some foreign 
body, as a grain of sand, an egg of the mollusk itself, or per- 
haps some cercarian parasite. It has also been suggested that 
an excess of carbonate of lime in the water may cause the 
development of the pearl. Accepting the former theory as the 
more probable one, it is easy to understand how this foreign 
body, which the mollusk is unable to expel, becomes encysted 
or covered as by a capsule, and gradually thickens, assuming 
various forms — round, elongated, mallet-shaped — and is some- 
times as regular as though it had been turned in a lathe. 
Charles L. Tiffany, who has given considerable attention to 
this subject, suggests that the mollusk continually revolves the 
enclosed particle in its efforts to rid itself of the irritation, or 
possibly that its formation is due to a natural motion which is 
accelerated by the intruding body. 

In regard to the formation of pearls, the following general 
statements may be made : Whatever may be the cause or the 

31 1 


process of their production, these interior concretions may occur 
in almost any molluscan shells, though they are confined to cer- 
tain groups, and their color and lustre depend upon those of the 
shell interior, adjacent to which they are formed. Thus the 
pink conch of the West Indies yields the beautiful rose-colored 
pearls, while those of the common oyster and clam are dead 
white or dark purple, according to their proximity to the part of 
the mantle which secretes the white or the dark material of the 
shell. The true pearly or nacreous iridescent interior belongs 
to only a few families of the mollusks, and in these alone can 
pearls proper be formed at all, while in point of fact they are 
actually obtained only from a very few genera. 

According to William H. Dali , 1 none of the air-breathing 
mollusks (the land snails) produce a nacreous shell ; and among 
fresh-water mollusks, none are pearl-bearers except certain of 
the bivalves, notably those belonging to the groups appropri- 
ately called the Naiades, of which the common river-mussel 
(Unio) is a typical example. The soft internal parts of these 
mollusks are covered by a thin, delicate membrane called the 
mantle, from the surface, and particularly from the outer edges 
of which, material is excreted to form the inner layers of the 
shell. The shell consists of two parts, the epidermis and the 
shell proper, the latter composed of numerous layers. The 
epidermis, which resembles horn, is chiefly composed of a sub- 
stance called “conchioline” and is soluble in caustic alkalies. 

The families with iridescent interior layers are the follow- 
ing : Among cephalopods, the Nautilus and Ammonites, the 
latter wholly fossil. In both these groups the removal of the 
outer layers of the shell reveals the splendid pearly surface 
beneath. Modern nautilus shells are often “cleaned” with 
dilute acid to fit them for use as ornaments, and frequently this 
is done partially, elaborate patterns being formed by leaving 
parts of the white middle layers to contrast with the pearly 
ground. Among the fossil Ammonites, the same effect is pro- 
duced, very often naturally by decay of the outer layers ; and 
no artificial pearl-work can compare with the richness of color— 

> Pearls and Pearl Fisheries, American Naturalist, p. 17, pp. 579 and 731, June and July, 



Pearl from common dam [Venus Mercenaria], Long Island 
Sound [twice natural size]. 

" Queen pearl ” natural size, found in 1857, near Paterson, 
New Jersey. 

Right valve of mother of pearl shell, enclosing parasitic 
fish [oligocottus], Coast of Western Mexico, 

Curious pearl from Unio from Cumberland River, Tennessee. 

Pearl showing concentric rings [magnified four diameters,] 
from Little Miami River, Ohio. 



literally “ rainbow-hued ” — that is presented by many of these 
fossils from Jurassic and cretaceous deposits. Among the 
gasteropods, the pearly groups are the Turbos and Haliotes, 
in both of which, but especially in the latter, there is a frequent 
occurrence of green iridescence. Shells of both these families 
are “ cleaned” with acid for use as ornaments, and the exquisite 
green Haliotis material is extensively used in the arts, as de- 
scribed further on. 

The pearls of commerce, however, are almost wholly ob- 
tained from bivalve (lamellibranch) shells, of which the follow- 
ing families have a nacreous lining: Aviculidae, Mytilidae, and 
Unionidae, the latter being wholly fresh-water shells, also 
known as the Naiadae. A few genera of other families are also 
brilliantly pearly, but need not be discussed. The true pearl- 
oyster (Meleagrina) of the Pacific and Indian Oceans belongs 
to the first of these groups, and has from time immemorial 
yielded the bulk of commercial pearls, while its large and thick 
shell furnishes the mother-of-pearl for countless ornamental pur- 
poses. (The Naiades are of particular interest in this country, 
as it is in North America that this group is most abundant.) 
Several hundred species of Unio, Anodon, etc., have been found 
in our great rivers and lakes, and the Mississippi basin teems 
with them ; and for the most part the forms are quite distinct 
from those of the Atlantic watershed and of the Old World. 
The Unios, while all iridescent, vary greatly in tint, exhibiting 
all the delicate shades of pink, brown, purple, etc., as well as 
white. The rivers of Europe, of Mesopotamia, and of China also 
yield large numbers of U nios. 

The peculiar artificial devices for pearl production employed 
by the Chinese with Dipsas plicatus are described hereafter in 
this chapter, as well as similar experiments upon Unios in Ger- 
many. Other genera (Hyria and Castalia) represent the family 
in the Amazon basin of South America. 

The same causes and operations that result in the produc- 
tion of pearls or free nacreous concretions in the soft animal 
substance of the pearl oysters or mother-of-pearl shells also 
produce in a modified way the tuberculose or knoblike protuber- 
ances and irregularities of surface that are frequently seen on 



the pearly inner surface of the valves and projecting therefrom. 
The flatter or less pronounced form of these nacreous excres- 
cences are often called “blister pearls,” because of their resem- 
blance to vesicular eruptions, or water-blisters caused by burns. 
These protuberant or vesicular excrescences, as the case may 
be, are induced in two ways. First, and perhaps more commonly, 
by the perforation of the shell, from outside to inside, by some 
species of boring parasite, pholads and lithophagi among 
the bivalve mollusks (Acephala), also by certain sponges 
(Clione) and boring worms. For the most part, these are not 
really parasites, as they do not derive their nutriment from the 
substance of the pearl oyster, as leeches and ticks do from the 
blood of their victims; the term “domiciliaire”' gives a clearer 
idea of the relation of these forms to that upon which they 
fasten or to which they attach themselves. These mollusks, 
sponges, and worms simply make their residence or domicile, 
according to their habit, upon or in the shell of the pearl 
oysters.’ The boring species are quite small during the early 
adolescent stage when they first attach themselves, but with 
increasing growth they have necessarily to increase the size of 
their burrows, until at last, to the great inconvenience and 
annoyance of the pearl oyster, the tunnelers have pierced 
through its shell, and the oyster, in order to maintain the 
privacy of its own domicile, is forced, as it were, to plaster over 
the holes with a coating of nacre. This process is repeated 
and continued as long as the tunneling goes on, until finally a 

1 Name given by Robert E. C. Stearns in paper cited. 

2 In addition to the particular species of fish, Fierasfer dubius, figured in the plate, the occur- 
rence of which had previously been made known, Dr. Stearns has detected another, apparently 
belonging to the Oligocottus, a form quite different from Fierasfer. The latter is a long, slender, 
eel-like form, while the other is a shorter, chunky fish, with a squarish head and rather prominent 
though stumpy spines. The Oligocottse are small, bull-headed fishes that “usually inhabit rock 
pools between tide-marks,” and are peculiar to the North Pacific waters. The Ficrasfers inhabit 
tropical or semi-tropical regions, and have been reported from Florida Keys to Cuba and Panama. 
The specimen illustrated was probably from the Gulf of California, as well as the Oligocottus, the 
occurrence of which as a parasite or domiciliaire had not before been made known. (See Colored 
Plate No. 8.) It is highly probable that still other species of the ichthyological section of the 
animal kingdom may yet be discovered occurring under similar conditions, for it would seem that 
small fishes of many species might occasionally be chased into the gaping valves of the oysters when 
pursued by some predaceous member of the finny tribe. The Fierasfers, however, exhibit the 
parasitic habit, as has been pretty well ascertained, not only through its occurrence in the pearl 
oysters, as before shown, but also through similar relations to the Echinoderms. 


2I 5 

nacreous knob or lump of pearl, of greater or less size, results 
from this defensive and protective action on the part of the 
oyster. This walling out of intruders can hardly be regarded as 
an indication of instinct or intelligence in the oyster, analogous 
to the repairing of a damaged web by a spider or the retunnel- 
ing of a filled-in gallery by ants : it is a pathological rather 
than an intelligent action, induced by irritation at the point of 
intrusion. Secondly, knobs, protuberances, and blister pearls 
are the result, indirectly, of some intrusive particle, or, it may 
be, of an organism which has in some way worked in between 
the delicate tissues of the mantle or sac, or some part thereof, 
and the interior surface of the shell. This, as may be easily 
conceived, produces an irritation, as a rough particle of dust on 
the surface of the human eye, and induces a secretion followed by 
a flow and deposit of nacreous lymph at the point irritated, and 
the cause of the irritation, whether an organic form or an inor- 
ganic particle, is coated with nacre, and plastered down to or 
upon the inner surface of the shell. It is rarely the case— but 
such instances have been known — that a small fish, having en- 
tered the shell when the valves were partially open, and having 
worked its way between the mantle and the smooth surface of 
the shell up to the region where the adductor muscles are 
attached (the muscles by which the valves are opened and 
closed), has here had a stop put to further explorations into 
the anatomy of the oyster, the latter not only clothing the 
unfortunate intruder in a pearly shroud, but also burying him 
in a nacreous tomb. 

The disturbance of the muscular economy of the oyster at 
the point named, it may be assumed, would induce immediate 
and extreme protective activity in the nacreous deposition. 

The report of the United States National Museum for 1886, 
page 339, contains a paper by Robert E. C. Stearns, 11 On 
Certain Parasites, Commensals, and Domiciliares in the Pearl- 
oysters, MeleagrinEe," and the colored plate (No. 8) (from a 
painting 1 made for that paper) which illustrates this chapter, as 
well as the notes and comments herein embodied, have kindly 
been placed at the author’s disposal by Dr. Stearns. 

1 Department of Molluscs, United States National Museum, No. 73,934. 



A hundred pearls have been found in a single shell ; but 
as a rule these have little or no value. Very curious nacreous 
groups made of many small pieces are at times found attached to 
the hinge, but these are generally without sufficient lustre to be 
of value, and are rarely collected. These groups are caused by 
the conglomeration of many small ones cemented by a deposit 
of nacre, and are often half an inch across. The white and 
the pink pearls are exceedingly beautiful, and the finest, owing 
to their delicate sheen or layers, are at times more lustrous than 
even the best oriental pearls. This lustre is increased by their 
greater transparency, and a really fine white, pink, yellow, or 
iridescent pearl is often found quite translucent. In color, the 
Unio pearls present an extended series of shades from dead 
opaque white, having but little value, through various tints of 
pink, yellow, and salmon, passing through a more decided form 
of these colors, or a faint purple, into a bright red, so closely 
resembling a drop of molten copper as almost to deceive the 
eye. Some are very light green and brown, others rose color, 
and still others are pale steel-blue or russet and purplish brown. 
In addition to their color and lustre, they are beautifully iri- 
descent. They are found in many odd and remarkable shapes. 
(See Illustration.) Elongated fish forms found near the hinge 
of the shell, and called hinge baroque pearls, are abundant. 
Others, with but a slight addition of gold and enamel, seem to 
represent human and animal heads, bat and bird wings, and 
similar objects. Mallet-shaped pearls are found with fine color 
and lustre at each end, though generally with opaque sides ; also 
grouped or bunched masses of the pearly nacre, made up of 
from one to over one hundred distinct pearls in fanciful shapes, 
are of occasional occurrence. Feather-like forms with curiously 
raised points, and an odd, rounded variety with raised, pitted 
markings, are quite abundant. A pearl -was mounted in this 
country that strikingly resembled the bust of Michael Angelo, 
and a number of unique designs have been made of baroques, 
similar to those mounted by Dinglinger and exhibited in the 
Green Vaults at Dresden. Although the pearls used here 
have not been as large as those shown in Dresden, greater 
taste has been employed in mounting them. The variety of the 



forms being so great, an artist has a wide field for imagination. 
The pearls, however, have but slight value unless they are 
beautiful and lustrous. 

Frequently pearls have an opaque appearance and seem to 
be worthless, but on the removal of their outer layer are found 
to be clear and iridescent. This outer layer may be removed 
by dipping them in a weak solution of acid, which dissolves 
the opaque coating, or it may be peeled with a knife, although 
sometimes the pearl is not of the same material throughout, and 
cannot be restored. The story is told of a New York lady 
who purchased a button-shaped Unio pearl that had a 
black, diseased appearance on one side. It was so set that the 
imperfection was all below the mounting. When applauding 
at the opera one evening, the pearl was broken, and on exami- 
nation it was found to consist of a very thin nacreous layer, 
inside of which was nothing but a hard, white, greasy clay. (See 
Illustration.) Whatever be the method of their formation, it 
would seem that pearls can be formed only at the expense of 
the shell, for every substance necessary to their growth is drawn 
from sources which normally secrete the shell. Hence the 
presence of the pearl can usually be detected on the outside of 
the shell. Normal appearing shells rarely contain pearls, while 
on the other hand those that are deformed often contain pearls 
of great beauty. There are three indications on which pearl- 
fishers rely for detecting from the outward aspect of the shell 
the presence of pearls. These are, first, the thread, that is, the 
recess or elevation extending from the vertex to the edge ; 
second, the kidney-shape of the shell, that is, an indentation on 
the ventral side ; and third, the contortion of both shells toward 
the middle plane of the animal. 

Much interesting information concerning the structure and 
quality of the shells of fresh-water pearl-bearing mussels was ob- 
tained at the International Exhibition held at Berlin in 1S80. 
The shells were found to consist of three strata: first, the outer 
yellow or brown conchioline (cuticula or epidermis); second, 
the prism stratum, consisting of layers formed of minute prisms 
arranged vertically to the layers and the shell surface ; and 
third, the interior nacre layer, composed of finely folded leaves 



parallel to the shell surface. The last two strata consist chief- 
ly of carbonate of lime. These formations were illustrated 
by transverse cuttings and microscopic sections* 
(See Fig* 8*) When a wound had been received 
by the animal in any soft part ? the tissues became 
moistened with a lime-like material and especially 
with the nacre-substance. This often happens in 
the muscles which serve to close the shell, and the 
irregular concretions thus formed are called “sand 
pearls.” When the growth of the pearl is abnor- 
mally strong, the pressure which it exerts on the 
outer wall of this tissue-pocket becomes so power- 
ful that the pocket is absorbed on the side toward 

ng, (}, uf 

khapel. and Tt, s h e ^> bringing the hard pearl directly against 
showing struc- jt then becomes impossible for the pearl to 
grow any more at the point of contact, for there is no tissue to 
secrete the lime substance ; but it grows on the rest of the sur- 
face, and the thickening layers, as they are formed, pass directly 
into the nacre layers on the inside of the shell, and thicken the 
shell itself. Through these over-layers, the pearl is connected 
with the shell as though by different layers of covering cloths. 
At first it clings to the shell at one point only, afterward enlarg- 
ing the area of its adhesion. In this manner twin or united 
pearls are formed. 

The most important marine pearl-fishery on the American 
continent is that of Lower California, the central point being at 
La Paz. Here the true pearl oysters, Meleagrina or Margarito- 
phora, are found, on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Califor- 
nia, from Cape St. Lucas to the mouth of the Colorado River, 
taking in about 1,500 miles of coast, including the gulf islands. 
They are also found from La Barra de Ocoz, which is the boun- 
dary line between the republics of Guatemala and Mexico, to 
Mazatlan, a distance of 2,000 miles, making for the pearl fisher- 
ies a total extent of 3,500 miles. 

These fisheries have recently been confirmed to the Pearl 
Shell Company of San Francisco, by special franchise from 
the Mexican Government. The beds were first discovered 
some three centuries ago by Hernando Cortez when he crossed 


to the Pacific and discovered Lower California, and the name 
of California, derived from “calidus,” hot, and “fornius,” a 
hearth, it is believed, is due to this journey, having been given 
by Cortez, who found the heat intense when he first touched 
California soil. He took possession of the fisheries, and sent 
a number of fine pearls to the Queen of Spain, subsequently 
requiring all fishers to send to the Blessed Virgin one-tenth of 
all they found, and one-tenth to the King of Spain. After some 
intermittent work, the fisheries, about 150 years ago, were again 
worked, with system and with great success, by one Juan Ossio, 
who took from them yearly from 300 to 500 pounds of pearls, 
actually packing them on mules and selling them by the bushel. 
The shells were all brought up by head divers, and pearls 
were taken from them so plentifully that they became of compar- 
atively small value. This heavy drain had the effect of rapidly 
diminishing the supply, and it is only of late years that fishing 
has again been carried on systematically. At present 
numerous beds are known and worked, at Loreto, off Point 
Lorenzo, the Island of Cerrabro, the harbors of Picheluigo, 
La Paz, and in fact the whole west coast of the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia from La Paz to above the island of Loreto, and in the 
east the island of Tiburon, and the land above and below that 
island. All these places have been famous for their pearls. 

A late authority writes that the beds of the pearl oyster are 
found on the coast of the Gulf from Cape San Lucas to the 
twenty-eighth degree north latitude, including the northern is- 
lands. The shells are also found on the southern coast at points 
which are known, but further exploitation has been abandoned 
on account of the lack of harbors for the protection of vessels 
used in these fisheries. The pearl oysters seem to prefer well- 
sheltered bays or harbors where fresh water empties, and in 
such localities the finest pearls have been found. 

According to the report of an expert who visited the dis- 
trict in 1860, the season lasts from June to December, and the 
time for diving is three hours a day, one hour and a half before 
low water and one hour and a half after. On an average, one 
day in every week is a fast-day, on which, as well as on Sundays, 
no work is done. A good day’s work for one diver is to procure 



ten dozen oysters, though some of the best men frequently get 
as many as fifteen dozen. Of course a great deal depends upon 
the locality* The shells average about 7,000 to the ton, and 
calculating the season at 150 days, each man procuring 15,000 
oysters, the total of shells procured by 450 men is about 2,000 
tons. Formerly, on the independent system, the divers gener- 
ally preferred to sell the oysters unopened for about twice the 
price that they would receive for the shells only, the price of 
shells averaging $4.50 a thousand. They went out in canoes, 
three, four, and sometimes five or six to each canoe, but seldom 
in greater number than four. 

The rise and fall of the tides is about twenty feet. The 
currents run very swiftly among the islands except just before 
and just after low water, and just before and just after high 
water ; but before and after high tide the water is too deep for 
divers, except in the shallowest places, which, of course, are 
generally exhausted, as they are always accessible. The divers 
claim that they can easily reach a depth of twelve fathoms when 
not hindered by the currents, and can remain there from a 
minute to a minute and a half. On reaching the place where 
they intend to dive, the canoe is allowed to float, or is paddled 
slowly by one of the men, while the others, with their heads close 
to the water, are watching the bottom. Notwithstanding that 
the bottom is more or less rocky, they can distinguish an oyster 
at a depth of fifty feet. When one is observed, the diver 
goes down, and if there are several in the place (it is said that 
there are always two) he brings up all he can secure during the 
minute or two he is down. If a spot is found where the oysters 
are abundant, a basket is sunk by means of stones, having a rope 
attached, and the diver can sometimes fill it in a few minutes, 
coming up occasionally to take breath. Those in the canoe 
take turns in diving, in paddling, and in resting, so that of the 
three or four in a canoe, not more than one dives at a time. 
The divers take no food whatever on the day they intend to 
dive, unless the hours for diving are to be very late in the day, 
when they take a little broth in the morning. They go down 
with stomachs as nearly empty as possible, so that the action 
of the lungs may not be interfered with. 


2 2 1 

In i860, in order to conduct pearl gathering in a more sci- 
entific manner, the owner of the Mexican grants, Sefior Navarro, 
procured from San Francisco, Cal., a number of expensive 
schooners, surf-boats, professional divers, and costly apparatus. 
After several years’ experience he found that his experts, with 
their expensive outfit, were no more successful than the naked 
Indian divers, while the exorbitant wages demanded by them so 
diminished his profits that he wisely went back to the primitive 
methods followed by his ancestors. At present those ship- 
owners who undertake the fisheries on a large scale use appa- 
ratus imported from France and England, by means of which 
each man is able to bring up daily 300 pearl oysters. The 
men employed are powerful Mexicans, and every diver has five 
assistants. Four men work the air pumps for the suited diver, 
and the fifth attends to the life-line, letting down the diver 
and hauling him up, as well as hoisting up the nets or baskets 
full of shells and lowering the empty ones. The pump-men 
are fed and housed, and receive $15 a month; the life-line man 
is similarly looked after, and receives $25 a month ; the diver 
receives $45 a month, and one-tenth of all he brings up, 
netting him as high as $500 a month, if he is fortunate. 
Connected with each fishing party is a schooner of from 60 
to 200 tons burden, and two or three small boats. The men 
live on the schooner during the entire six months. In addi- 
tion there are numerous divers who work independently, and 
who show wonderful skill and aptness in their work. Generally, 
with no other appliance than a heavy stone attached to the 
waist, they plunge naked to the bottom, select suitable bivalves, 
and gather them into a bag, remaining under water as long as 
two minutes. The shells containing the pearls vary in diameter 
from 2 to 8 inches, 6 inches being the average size. They are 
found on hard rocks or on sandstone at the bottom of the sea, 
usually in bunches, holding to the rocks by a fibrous beard 
(byssus), the circular opening being on top and the shells usu- 
ally a little open. The oysters are vertical, not lying on the fiat. 
Each diver has a knife, with which he cuts a bunch loose and 
places them in a basket or net by his side ; this is hoisted up 
when full, an empty one descending at the same time. On 



rising to the surface, the fisher empties his bag into one of the 
waiting surf-boats, which crafts, under careful guard, deliver 
their loads to a well-armed schooner, the latter vessel running 
into shore at nights to discharge the accumulated cargo. Occa- 
sionally, during all the time he is under water, a man may not 
send up a single shell containing a pearl ; at other times there 
may be $10,000 worth in twenty shells. A very strict police 
system is necessary to prevent serious thefts, which, despite 
the utmost vigilance, are of daily occurrence. On land the 
cargo is turned over to keepers, and the mass is surrounded 
by guards armed to the teeth. The shells are pried open with 
a flat knife, and the mussel is separated from each shell. A 
gristly substance attaches the body of the oyster to the shell, 
and covers about one-fourth of its area, the remainder being 
occupied by the pearl-bearing membrane, a black, jelly-like coat, 
and of course a part of the living shell-fish. (See Illustration.) 
The shells are handed over to another man, while the opener 
takes the separated fish, and examines the inside of the black 
membrane for the pearls he is in search of, and finally closes 
his fist over the fish to squeeze out any pearl which may be 
lodged in the interior, after which the pearls found are ex- 
amined by experts, their value estimated, and a settlement 
made at once with the divers. Usually their wages amount to 
twenty-five per cent, of the total find, and they are paid by an 
allotment of the pearls taken during the day. On the outside 
the shells are covered with seaweed or other submarine growths, 
and look not unlike a Tam O’Shanter cap. All this growth is 
removed, and the shells are cleansed and picked, finding a ready 
market in Liverpool, London, and Hamburg at prices of from 
ten to twenty cents a pound. The profit from these fisheries is 
not as large as might be imagined, because the expenses are very 
heavy, and there is always involved a very considerable element 
of chance. 

About 1863 a company" organized in New York City for 
the purpose of gathering pearls and pearl shells on the Pacific 
Coast, and secured the use of a submarine boat, the peculiarities 
of which were that it carried a large supply of fresh air con- 
densed within its walls and was provided with a means of puri- 


fying the air in the working chamber, thus dispensing with the 
necessity of communicating with the surface as it furnished an 
atmosphere in which men could work for a whole day with 
perfect ease. The company procured a lease of property at the 
island of Tiburon, hoping, with their facilities, to secure unusual 
returns ; for, with their submarine boat, they would have the 
advantage of exploring, locating, and working beds where divers 
could not go. Presumably their efforts were not successful, 
for the company soon went out of existence. 

During the subsequent summer a new company obtained 
the concession for the Lower California pearl fisheries, and they 
decided that all the fisheries on the Gulf of California should in 
the future be worked by Chinamen. 

For more than 300 years these fisheries have been in the 
possession of private grants dating back to the days of the con- 
quest. The Mexican Government has in recent years annulled 
the old grants and leased the fisheries to the highest bidders. 
The house of Gonzales & Ruffo, having offices both in La Paz 
and the City of Mexico, secured a concession for sixteen years 
permitting them to work the fisheries around the Espiritu Santo 
and La Paz Islands, which are considered the best of the beds. 
The Government has recently granted to a single firm the ex- 
clusive right to raise the mother-of-pearl shells, and for the re- 
production of such oysters the system used in the State of 
Maryland will be followed. The fisheries, which constitute one 
of the leading industries of Lower California, are now diminish- 
ing yearly, and, owing to the continued exploitation, many of 
the ship-owners find themselves losers at the end of the season. 

In the year 1831, according to T. J. Farnham, 1 more than 
$40,000 worth of pearls were taken from the coast of Sonora. 
The pearls from this fishery at one time brought from $150,000 
to $200,000 a year. As the search has been so actively carried 
on, the Government has deemed it necessary to prohibit fishing 
the second time for a period of two years. 

Robert A. Wilson, 1 in speaking of pearls, says : “ Their abun- 
dance is one of the first things to strike a stranger on entering 

1 Scenes on the Pacific, £>. 307. 

a Mexico, its Geography, its People, and its Institutions (New York, 1846), p. 307, 



Mexico. Every woman above the rank of a peasant must have 
at least one pearl to ornament the pin that fastens her shawl or 
mantilla upon the top of her head.” It is common to see girls 
with strings of pearls around their necks that would bring a 
large price in London, and there are women in La Paz who have 
pearls of extraordinary value, but are so poor that they have not 
means to buy food. 

The pearls of the Countess de Regia, of the Marquesa de 
Guadeloupe, and of Madame Velasco are from these fisheries 
and are remarkable for their size and value. The great pearl 
presented to Gen. Guadeloupe Victoria, while President, was 
from the same locality. The pride of the Spanish regalia is 
an enormous Mexican pearl which was secured near Loreto 
by a Mexican diver. This most perfect pearl weighs 400 grains. 
In the Bay of Muleje a pearl was taken weighing 400 grains 
and as large as a small egg. During 1883 several notable spe- 
cimens were found, among them a light-brown pearl, flecked 
with darker shades, weighing 260 grains, and valued at $8,000. 
It was sent to Paris. Another one was pear-shaped, white, with 
dark specks, weighed 1 76 grains, and sold for $7,500. About 
the same time the pearl merchants of La Paz secured a pearl 
from some unknown Indian diver for which they paid $10, and 
received fork $5,500 in France. It was oval-shaped, of a light 
sandy color, perfect in contour and brilliant in lustre, and 
weighed 32 carats. In 1S81 a black pearl, weighing 162 grains, 
was sold in Paris for $10,000. During 1884 two other pearls, 
weighing respectively 140 and 124 grains, and of surprising lustre, 
brought $11,000. Recently a pearl from these beds, weighing 
48 grains, was sold in London for $7,500. A black pearl weigh- 
ing 108 grains, taken from the San Lorenzo Channel, was sold 
for $3,000. A year later one of the principal shipowners 
found a pearl weighing 300 grains, and in the same year 
another weighing 180 grains was sold in Paris for $1,000. 
More recently a fine pearl was found in the Bay of Guaymas 
that weighed 372 grains. At the World’s Fair held in Paris 
during 1889 there was exhibited a set of seven black pearls 
from this district valued at $22,000. The poorer pearls are 
sold in Germany, the finest in the United States and France. 


The largest and finest black pearls (for it is the black 
pearls which are the specialty of these fisheries) that have been 
found weigh from 120 to 140 and even 240 grains each. 
A pearl of 12 grains, which is perfect in beauty, color, and 
shape, may be worth $200, but very slight defects will reduce 
the price to one-tenth of that sum. The best black pearls found 
come from these fisheries, though peacock-green, blue, green, 
gray, and white ones are also found. In shape they vary great- 
ly, being spherical, pear-shaped, egg-shaped, conical, in the shape 
of a little round loaf, or a wax match. Frequently pearls are 
found attached to and forming a part of the inside of the shell, 
instead of being in the membrane, when they are of little value, 
because they are difficult to remove, and are usually imperfect. 

Most of the pearls from this place are sent to market by 
way of San Francisco. A letter to the author from a leading 
firm there contains the following: "The pearl fisheries average 
about 5,000 carats a year, which represent a value of $200,000, 
to which you must add about 800,000 pounds of pearl shells 
representing a value of about $180,000. The cost amounts to 
about $100,000,” During 1887 it is believed that more than 
$50,000 worth of pearls were found The total product of the 
fisheries has amounted to as much as $250,000 in a single year, 
and the sale of the shells to as much more. From November, 
1868, till September, 1869, $26,000 worth of pearls were pur- 
chased from this locality by one New York house. These were 
of various sizes, including four that weighed over 20 grains and 
one of 49 grains. In color, the pearls from this locality vary 
from pure white through gray and brown to black. The latter 
have become so fashionable in late years that their value has 
increased tenfold. One black pearl weighing 50 grains was 
valued at $8,000. 

Fresh-water pearls are found, as before stated, in various 
species of the Unios, more frequently, according to Dr. Isaac 
Lea, in the Unio complanatus, but also in the following: U. 
Blandingianus, U. Buddianus, U. costatus, U. Elliotti, U. fragilis, 
U. globulus, U. gracilis, U. Mortoni, U. nodosus, U. orbiculatus, 
U. ovatus, U. torsus, U. undulatus, and U. Virginianus. Not 
one pearl in a hundred from Unios is of good shape, and prob- 



ably not more than one In a hundred is really fine, therefore, as 
the worth of a pearl depends on lustre and form, the greater 
number obtained from this source are of slight value* Rev* 
Horace C. Hovey, however, is credited with having found a 
pearl half an Inch across in the shell of a Unio ovatus, near 
Cincinnati, Ohio. Unio pearls have been sought since the 
settlement of this country, and the narratives of early voyagers 
abound with references to them. In an ancient catalogue 1 of 
objects of natural history, made in 1749 by John Winthrop, 
F. R. S., the following items are mentioned : 

“ 30. Unripe pearls which in time would have become [31]* 

31. Bright pearls which are produced in the same shells 


32. Some of the larger sea pearl shells which are often 
found in deeper waters three times as large and bear larger 

N. B # — , Almost all the lakes* ponds, and brooks contain a 
large fresh-water clam which also bears pearls. The Indians 
say they have no pearls in them at certain seasons, but at the 
season when they grow milky, the pearls are digested in them, 
which causes their mllkinessT 

Dr, Samuel P. Hildreth writes : “Some of the fresh-water 
shells produce very fine pearls. I have one taken in the waters of 
the Muskingum, from the shell known as the Unio nodosus 
of Barnes. It is a thick, tuberculated shell, with the most rich 
and pearly nacre of any in the western rivers. The specimen is 
perfect in form, being plano-convex on one side and a full hemi- 
sphere on the opposite. It is nearly £ Inch in diameter across 
the plane face, and |- inch through the transverse diameter, and 
of a very rich pearly lustre. Set In a gold watch-key and 
surrounded by facets of jet, it makes a beautiful appearance 
and is by far the largest and finest pearl I have ever seen. 
Several others have been found, but none to be compared to 
this.” 3 

The greatest find of these Unio pearls was in a mound in 
the Little Miami Valley explored by Prof. Frederick W. Put- 

1 Am. J. Sci. I. Vol. 47, p. 284, Jan., 1845. 

3 Am. J. Sri, I., Vol, 25, p. 257, April, 1834, Ten Days in Ohio, from the Diary of a 


nam and Dr. Charles L. Metz, who procured over 60,000 
pearls, nearly two bushels, drilled and undrilled, undoubt- 
edly of Unio origin, all of them, however, decayed or much al- 
tered, and of no commercial value. (See Illustration.) In 1884 
these scientists examined the Marriott Mound, where they 
found nearly 100 Unio shells, and among other objects of 
special interest six canine teeth of bears, that were perfo- 
rated by a lateral hole near the edge at the point of greatest 
curvature of the root, and by passing a cord through this, the 
tooth could be fastened to any object or worn as an ornament. 
Two of these teeth had a hole bored through near the end of 
the root on the side opposite the lateral perforation, and the 
hole countersunk in order to receive a large spherical pearl, 
about 1 inch in diameter. When the teeth were found, the 
pearls were in place, although chalky from decay. Upward 
of 250 pearl beads were found, concerning rvhich they say: 
“The pearl beads found in the several positions mentioned are 
natural pearls, probably obtained from the several species of 
Unios in the Ohio rivers. In size they vary from T V Inch to 
i inch in diameter, and many are spherical. They are neatly 
drilled, and the larger from opposite sides. These pearls are 
now chalky and crumble on handling, but when fresh they 
would have formed brilliant necklaces and pendants.” 1 

One of the most singular circumstances connected with the 
New Jersey “pearl fever” was the discovery of several shells 
which proved that the local savants had experimented on the 
pearl-bearing Unios by dropping mother-of-pearl buttons inside 
the shell, hoping that the mussel would cover them with its 
secretions. The specimens found had apparently been experi- 
mented on over thirty years previous, a time when European 
scientists were greatly interested in shells received from China, 
containing small images of Buddha. These images had been 
moulded in tin and placed between the mantle and the shell. 
The mussels were then returned to their natural environment, 
and after several months the layer of mother-of-pearl became of 
sufficient thickness, and the images were removed. 

1 Explorations in Ohio from the Eighteenth Report of the Peabody Museum (Cambridge, 
1886), p. 449. 



In a shell of the Unio in the Lea Collection of the Unioni- 
dse, which has recently been presented to the United States 
National Museum, an oval piece of white wax, flat on the 
lower side and rounded on the upper, which had been inserted 
in the valve near the hinge, is entirely coated with a beautiful 
pink nacre. It has been broken out of the shell, the pearly 
nacre of the lower or flat side remaining in the shell, whereas 
the dome-shaped piece is covered with this material. 

FI Q, g„ 


At the International Fisheries Exhibition held in Berlin 
during 1880, there were shown the results of experiments under- 
taken in Germany toward the production of artificial pearls 
from Unios, in a manner similar to that practiced by the 
Chinese. Flat tin figures, usually of fish, were introduced be- 
tween the mantle and the shell. Similar experiments were con- 
ducted in the Royal Saxon pearl fisheries. Either small foreign 
bodies were introduced into the mantle, in order to furnish the 
nucleus for the free pearl formation, or the Chinese method of 
inserting such bodies between the mantle and the shell was 
followed. From the second method successful results were 
shown. The foreign bodies that had been introduced, poor 
pearls from other mussels, pieces of grain, or china buttons, 
were entirely covered with nacreous substance. The shape of 
these objects makes it impossible for the mantle to fit closely 
around them, and hence the nacre covers them so irregularly that 
it is quite out of the question to make any use of them. From 
specimens exhibited, it was shown that German oysters could 
be made to cover a plain relief with nacre as well as those of China. 


Efforts to make the river pearl-mussel available in another 
way met with better success. In 1850, Moritz Schmerler con- 
ceived the idea of making - small fancy articles of the shells 
themselves, and succeeded so well that the Government 
allowed him to take from the royal beds the shells he needed 
for his manufacturing business. Large numbers of pearl-shell 
pocket-books and hand-satchels have been made since then. 
The almost faultless white and reddish tinted “rose-pearl 
mussels” are specially prized for this purpose, as the material 
may be cut so thin that a photograph pasted on the inside can 
be seen through the shell, conveying the appearance of being 
produced on the shell itself. Other manufacturers engaged in 
the business as soon as its success became apparent, and many 
hundred thousands of pearl-mussels are now annually used at 
Adorf, where the business is chiefly carried on. The principal 
sources of supply are brooks in Bavaria and Bohemia that 
are owned by private persons. 

Some of the earliest American pearls, that were found, 
came from near Waynesville, Ohio, $3,000 worth being collected 
in that vicinity during the pearl excitement of 1878. At that 
time, Israel H. Harris, of Waynesville, began what has since 
become one of the finest and best known collections of Unio 
pearls in this country, purchasing, during many years, every 
specimen of value that he could find in that part of the State. 
Among his pearls was one button-shaped on the back and 
weighing 38 grains, also several almost transparent pink ones, 
and an interesting specimen showing where a pearl had grown 
almost entirely through the Unio. His collection contained 
more than 2,000 pearls, weighing over 2,000 grains, and is in all 
probability the last collection that will be made from that dis- 
trict. It was exhibited in the jewelry department at the World’s 
Fair held in Paris during 1889. 

Large and valuable Unio pearls have been obtained in 
New Jersey. In 1857 a pearl of fine lustre, weighing 93 
grains, was found at Notch Brook, near Paterson. It became 
known as the “Queen Pearl,” and was sold by Tiffany & Co. to 
the Empress Eugenie of France for $2,500; it is to-day worth 
four times that amount. (See Colored Plate No. 8.) The 


news of this sale created such an excitement that search for 
pearls was started throughout the country. The Unios at 
Notch Brook and elsewhere were gathered by the millions and 
destroyed, often with little or no result. A large round pearl, 
weighing 400 grains, which would doubtless have been the finest 
pearl of modern times, was ruined by boiling open the shell. 

During the early part of the summer of 1889 a quantity of 
magnificently colored pearls was found in the creeks and rivers 
of Wisconsin, in Beloit, Rock County ; Brodhead and Albany, 
Green County; Gratiot and Darlington, La Fayette County; 
Boscobel and Potosi, Grant County; Prairie du Chien and 
Lynxville, Crawford County, Of these pearls, more than $10,000 
worth were sent to New York within three months; including 
a single pearl worth more than $500, and among them were 
pearls equal to any ever found for beauty and coloring. The 
colors were principally purplish red, copper red, and dark pink. 
A fine, very round pink pearl of 30 grains was found in a Unio 
near St. Johns, N. B., and now belongs to George Reynolts of 
Toronto, Canada. 

The lumbermen, while sailing down the Canadian rivers on 
their rafts, collect Unios for food, by fastening bushes to the 
rear of the raft, so that when they pass through the mussel 
shoals, where the rivers are shallow, the bushes touch, the Unios 
close on the leaves and thin branches, holding to them securely; 
and at intervals the bushes are taken out and the Unios re- 
moved. Many brooks and rivers, among them the Olentangg, at 
Delaware, Ohio, and a number of streams near Columbus, have 
been completely raked and scraped, often in a reckless manner, 
and consequently with little result. The general method of 
collecting shells was for a number of boys and men to wade 
into the mill-race or into the river to their necks, feeling for the 
sharp ends of the Unio, which always project. When one was 
discovered in this manner, the finder would either dive after it 
or lift it with his feet. It was the custom at that time to open 
the shells in the water, and once during the process a pearl the 
size of a pigeon’s egg is said to have been dropped into the 
water and never recovered. 

At the United States National Museum in Washington, 



D. C, there is a very interesting collection of pearls and the 
inollusks which bear them, including the Unio and the common 
conch, the common clam, mussel and the Trigona crassatel- 
loides. The common mussel (Mytilus edulis Linn.) secretes 
small pearlaeeous bodies, somewhat resembling those from the 
common oyster, but they have no value. Trigona crassatelloides 
of Conrad also secretes small pearls possessing neither lustre nor 

Within one year pearls were sent to the New York market 
from nearly every State. In 1857 fully $15,000 worth, in 1858 
about $2,000, in 1859 about $2,000, in i860 about $1,500, in 
1860-1863, only $1,500. The excitement abated until about 
1868, when there was a slight revival of interest, and since then 
many Little Miami River pearls have been found. Since 1880, 
pearls have come from a comparatively new district, the supply 
from which is apparently on the increase. At first, few were 
found, or rather few were looked for, west of Ohio, but gradually 
the line has extended, and now Kentucky, Tennessee, and 
Texas are the principal pearl-producing States, and some pearls 
are sent North from Florida. 

Of single pearls, one from Montpelier, Vt., valued at $300; 
one from Waynesville, Ohio, valued at $200; one from Boston, 
Tex., valued at $250 ; one pink pearl, 19^ grains, from Murfrees- 
borough, Tenn., valued at $80, another at $150; one from 
Llano, Tex., valued at $95, have been sold in New York. 

The production during recent years has been as follows 

September, i88r, to 18S2 210 lots worth $7,500 

September, 1882, to 1883 72 ” “ 5,000 

September, 1 88 3, to August, 1 S84 71 “ “ 5,000 

That so few American conchologists have paid attention 
to American pearls is probably accounted for by the fact that 
the pearls are contained in old, distorted, and diseased shells, 
which are not so desirable for collections as the finer speci- 
mens. Collectors who have opened many thousands of Unios 
have never observed a pearl of value. Pearls are usually 
found either by farmers, who devote their spare time to this 
industry, and, if no result is obtained, suffer no loss, or by per- 

instruments like those that have been employed in Saxony and 
Bavaria. In the former country a thin, flat iron tool with a 

bent end is inserted in the shell. 
The handle is then turned to 90°, 
and the shell is opened without injury 
to the animal. (See Fig. 10.) An- 
other implement is a pair of pliers 
with sharp-pointed jaws and a screw 
between the arms, which is turned 
by the hand until the valves of the 
shell are sufficiently distended to see 
whether it contains a pearl. (See 
Fig. 11.) If it does not, the animal 
is returned to its former haunts, 
perhaps to propagate more valuable 
progeny. This wholesale destruction, 
together with the depredations of 
hogs, which have exterminated whole shoals of L 1 nios when the 
brooks were low, and the elements introduced into the water by 
manufacturing industries, have no doubt exhausted many varie- 
ties of these shells. The more eastern States are so densely 




sons in country villages who are without regular occupation, 
but are ever seeking means for rapid increase of fortune* Many 
shells that do not contain pearls are destroyed. In order to 
obviate this wholesale destruction, it would be well to use 

fig* ro« 



populated and the streams so contaminated with sewerage and 
refuse from factories, that animal life is rapidly disappearing 
from the water-courses in many localities. 

It is probable that the existence of carbonate of lime in 
excess where mussels abound influences the secretion that 
causes the growth of the pearl. In limestone regions, where 
the waters are polluted by products of decompositions that are 
acid, these unite with the lime and form other compounds, that 
are precipitated or are carried away with the impurities of the 
water. There can be no doubt that this cause would tend to 
decrease the amount of lime which the shell would receive, thus 
not only retarding the growth of the pearl, but often eventually 
leading to the extermination of the Unio itself. At nearly all 
the marine pearl fisheries, coral-banks abound, and it may be 
that these have more or less influence on the development of 
the pearl in the shell. In Vermont, New Jersey, and Ohio, 
where pearls were formerly found, a fine one is now rarely 
obtained. In gathering the shells, only those that are full- 
grown, old, and distorted by disease should be taken, so that the 
fisheries may be preserved, and the shells should be opened as 
soon as taken from the water, and not allowed to open by decay 
for this discolors the pearls ; and particularly, they must never be 
opened by boiling, as this dims the lustre and lessens the value 
of the pearl. 

The common clam (Venus mercenaria) secretes pure white 
pearls, scarcely distinguishable from ivory buttons, as well as 
others faintly tinted with a purplish blue, passing at times to 
a reddish purple and a purplish black. The white pearls are 
worthless, the tinted ones of very little value, but those of 
darker color are often from £ to §• of an inch in diam- 
eter, and the finest ones bring from $20 to $100. The 
supply is limited and there is very little demand, for unless 
the color is exceptionally good they possess little beauty, lack- 
ing the lustre peculiar to other pearls ; still, when mounted with 
diamonds, the appearance of the darker ones is much improved. 

It would seem from an article on wampum, written by Dr. 
Samuel L. Mitchell in 1825, that clam pearls were of much more 
frequent occurrence in the early part of the century than they 



are now. “ To form an opinion,” says Dr. Mitchell, “ of the 
frequency of their occurrence, I mention a circumstance that 
happened on Long Island. A man desirous of making a col- 
lection of clam pearls gave notice through the neighborhood 
that he would pay a quarter of a dollar each for those of proper 
size ; and in the course of two months he received two dozen. 
The clam-mongers in the city save the pearls they find on open- 
ing the shells, and sell them to persons who come to the stalls 
in the market to purchase them.” He himself possessed a pur- 
plish one weighing 69 grains, which surpassed all that he had 
ever heard of. 

The manufacture of wampum to be sold or traded to the 
Indians is an old American industry, and the manufacture is 
still in the hands of the Campbell family, who originated it. 
The first to engage in this industry was John Campbell, who 
was succeeded by Abraham Campbell, and by the survivors of 
the four sons of Abraham, the youngest of whom is now over 
seventy-five years old. Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith described the 
manufacture,' and took a series of the beads, to represent the 
industry, to the New Orleans Exposition. She says : 

“ Originally the grandfather of the Campbells, who resided 
at Tea Neck, N. J., would make trips to Rockaway in a boat 
which, when they returned, was loaded with clams (Venus 
mercenaria), the meat of which was given to the country 
people in return for opening the shells. The blue ‘ heart’ of 
the clam, as it was called, was cut out and made into beads 
used for the groundwork of the wampum belts. At one time 
this industry flourished so that thousands of dollars were paid 
out weekly to buy the beads made by the white country-people 
who manufactured them at the time. The hole of the bead was 
made with an arm-drill and they were polished or ground on 
grindstones. The white beads were not made from the clam, 
but from conch-shells (Strombus gigas), which they have always 
imported from the West Indies. The young clams cannot be 
used, and the old have so decreased in number that this branch 
of the industry has been greatly reduced.” 

When Mrs. Smith visited the Campbells she had with 

1 Science, VoL 5, p* 3. 

her an Iroquois wampum belt, bearing the marks of age, which 
they immediately pronounced to have been made after their 
manner. Although they had been familiar with Indians, they 
had never known of their making the beads. They had always 
depended upon the trappers for their market, and related inci- 
dents connected with their dealings with “fur companies/' etc. 
The conch-shell is used also in the manufacture of “pipes/' 
beads, rosettes, etc* The “ pipes ” vary in length from 2 to 6 
inches, and resemble a tobacco-pipe stem with bulging sides ; 
those of 6 inches in length are quite rare, and are highly 
prized. The rosettes consist of a concentric series of round, flat 
disks placed on them, secured one to the other by means of a 
string passed through the holes drilled in the center. 

The common oysters (Ostrea borealis and Ostrea Virginica) 
occasionally secrete one or more pearly bodies, always dead- 
white in color. The reflections produced by their fibrous, radi- 
ated structure is similar to that observed in the 
common conch. The “ skin ” of these pearls is 
never smooth or lustrous, and consequently they 
have no value. Rev* Horace C Hovey, in a 
Flc - 3 =- letter to the author states that he had found 


from common ovsTEB. twenty-nine pearls in a single common oyster 
(O. borealis) at New Haven, Conn. In the Smithsonian report 
for 1881 it is stated that Charles E. Ash took forty-five pearls 
from a single oyster in Providence Bay. A curiously formed 
oyster pearl is shown in Fig. 12. 

Conch Pearls. — That is, the concretions found in the 
common conch (Strombus gigas), are not nacreous, and there- 
fore cannot be considered true pearls. They are usually a little 
elongated or oblong in form, rarely round, and most of them are 
very beautiful, owing to the reflections produced by their fibrous 
stellated structure causing the light to play over the surface, 
but giving a different effect from the cat’s-eye or that of satin- 
spar. They are almost always pink in color and the fine ones 
are wonderfully lustrous. 

James R. Curry, of Key West, Fla., states that there and at 
Tortugas, fully 15,000 of these shells are used annually for food 
and for bait, being sold at the rate of three for ten cents, 


uncleaned. He has paid some attention to pearl-collecting, and 
has never observed more than one in a shell. He instances 
one as large as a small hazel-nut. A few found by him were 
really finer in color than those from the West Indies, although 
not so regular in form. The principal shades are canary, 
salmon-pink, pink, and pure white. The value of none was 
over $50. Conch pearls from the West Indies have occasion- 
ally been observed half an inch in length and of very fine 
quality, and are sometimes worth $1,000 apiece; yet the taste 
for pink pearls is on the increase, although for years the de- 
mand has been somewhat limited in the United States. A 
necklace of these pearls valued at $4,000 has been collected, 
which is worthy of mention. 

The pearls of the queen conch vary in color from a rich 
yellow to a yellowish-brown shade, and if anything are more 
highly polished than those of the Strombus gigas, or pink 
conch. Cassis cornuta, C. tuberosa, C. Madagascarensis, C. rufa, 
also contain pearly concretions, varying from yellow to brown, 
somewhat similar to those from the common conch, but no large 
ones have as yet been observed. 

The Abalone (Haliotis or Ear-Shell), the principal species 
of which are Haliotis splendens and Haliotis rufescens (called 
ormer in the Channel Islands, fuh-yu in China, awabi in Japan, 
and abalone in California), also secretes pearls. (See Illustra- 
tion.) The nacreous portion of the shell itself is used for 
ornamental purposes, such as buttons, etc., and surface orna- 
mentation in lacquer work, papier-mache, etc. The mollusk 
itself, called "mutton-fish” by the New Zealanders, has long 
been known to the Indians of the Pacific coast as a valuable 
article of food, and it is much sought after by the Japanese and 
Chinese for the same purpose. The former take only the very 
smallest fish, and eat them when freshly caught with cayenne 
pepper and vinegar, while the Chinese seek out the largest, and 
eat them only after they have been dried. 1 

The fishing is conducted at low tide, the principal grounds 
on the coast being along the Catalina and Santa Rosa Islands, 
in the Santa Barbara Channel, and from Monterey to San 

1 From an article on this subject by Charles R. Orcutt. 


Diego, although a large number are gathered in Halfmoon Bay 
and from the rocks that line the shore of Mendocino County. 
The ear shells attach themselves to the rocks by means of 
their large muscular disk-shaped foot (so called) which acts like 
a sucker or exhaust cup. Just before the tide leaves them on 
the ebb and just after it has reached them on the flow, the 
abalones keep their shells slightly raised above the surface of 
the rock with the feelers drawn in. Then the fisherman, with 
either a long, broad knife or a spade-like instrument — both are 
used — -gives a quick lift to the sucker or foot, letting in the air. 
The suction is destroyed and the fish falls off, when it is seized 
and thrown into a boat or basket, before it can fasten itself 
afresh. If the fish lies below water, a sort of grappling iron is 
let down, and after the point is inserted under the shell a vigor- 
ous wrench pulls it away, All this has to be done quickly and 
quietly, for if the abalone closes down on the rock, it cannot be 
drawn off, so great is its power of adhesion, and it will be 
broken into fragments before it releases its hold. When caught, 
the abalones are thrown on the beach, and the fish is pulled 
from the shell with a flat, sharp stick, and stripped of its curtain, 
boiled, salted, and strung on long rods to dry in the air. This 
process is very disagreeable, and that of stripping and cleaning 
so offensive that none but Chinese will undertake it. The 
abalones must be as hard as sole-leather when properly dried, 
and they are then packed in sacks, and sent to China. The 
price of the meat is from five to eight cents a pound in San 
Francisco, or from seven to ten cents a pound in China. When 
cooked, it is cut into strips and boiled, the taste being similar 
to that of the clam, but with a more meatlike consistency. 

The trade in this dried meat is considerable. In 1866 there 
were exported from San Francisco by steamer 1,697 sacks, val- 
ued at $14,440, and in 1867 the exports had risen to 3,713 
sacks, valued at $33,090. At present there are exported up- 
wards of 200 tons a year, which at $175 a ton would amount 
to $35,000. At San Diego, Cal., the dried meat is quoted at 
$110 a ton. The shells vary from almost microscopic size to 
eight or ten inches in diameter. Before they were found to be 
of any marketable value, they were thrown away. One heap a 



little south of San Diego, containing over a hundred tons of 
shells, from exposure to the rain and the sun was converted 
into lime on the outside, but this was broken into and many 
fine shells were found. 

The shell in its natural state is no more attractive than 
that of the oyster; it is rough on the outside, looking much like 
a piece of dried brown clay, and is frequently covered with a 
growth of barnacles, seaweeds, etc. Commercially there are five 
varieties, the green, the black, the red, the pink, and the 
mottled; but considering them from an ornamental standpoint, 
the shells may be grouped under three heads, red, black, 
and green, so-called, of course, from their prevalent color* The 
black* which is the smallest and least valuable, is found from 
Monterey down to the Gulf of California; the red, which is next 
in value, but the largest in size, is found from Mendocino to 
Monterey; while the green comes from below San Diego. The 
black seldom exceeds 6 inches in diameter, the green rarely 
goes beyond 9, while the red runs as high as 12 or 14 inches* 
The black is not beautiful on the outside, even when cleansed 
of lime and marine parasites, but inside there lies a small patch 
of the most beautiful opalescent tints, and this is sawn out, and 
made into brooches and lockets* The red is of a general 
mother-of-pearl appearance, with stripes and mottles of a rich 
burnt umber* The green, both within and without, is full of 
fire and color, some interiors being fully as vivid and of much 
the same prevailing color as a peacock's neck* This variety is 
principally used for jewelry, and is worked into every kind of 
ornament, from a table-top, inlaid with representations of flow- 
ers and butterflies, to the smaller varieties of jewelry* The 
Pueblo, Zuni, and Navajo Indians, and all the Indians of the 
California coast as far north as Alaska, have made it into 
charms and have used it for ornamentation for ages* It has 
been used as an applied decoration on silver objects, and was 
exhibited at the World's Fair held in Paris during 1889, 

The play of colors is attributed by Sir David Brewster to min- 
ute striae or grooves on the surface of the nacre alternating with 
the grooves of animal membrane* These laminae decompose 
the light in consequence of the interference caused by the 


reflection from the two sides of each film, as may be seen in 
soap-bubbles. The nacreous laminae when magnified are seen 
to be of minute cellular structure. 

The first adaptation of the abalone shell to ornamental pur- 
poses was made by an English worker in mother-of-pearl who 
went to San Francisco more than twenty years ago. He saw 
the possibilities of the wonderful, brilliant shell, and began a 
business which now requires the services of more than ten men. 
The little trifles made of this shell are considered by the eastern 
visitor and the European tourist as distinctively Californian as 
a piece of big-tree bark. The incrustations were formerly 
removed by soaking the shells in a bath of muriatic acid, but it 
was found that this process injured the texture, and they are 
now cleaned and polished by friction lathes. Twenty years ago 
abalone shells were considered so worthless that freight steamers 
would not transport a bag of them without advance payment for 
the freight. Now they are worth $150 to $175 a ton in New 
York and Liverpool. The shells are shipped first to San Fran- 
cisco, where they are assorted and the damaged ones thrown 
aside, about three tons of merchantable shells being procured 
from five tons of material as it comes from the abalone hunters. 
These shells are quoted (1889) in San Diego at $20, $25, and 
$35 a ton according to quality, and in consequence of such low 
prices the trade is comparatively dull. The output of the 
shells during 1888 was estimated at 300 tons. The amount 
of shells made into jewelry in San Francisco is very small 
compared with that consumed by the button-makers of 
France, England, Germany, and New York. Orders for 
abalone shells are constantly received from these places, and 
there are times when the export reaches as high a figure as 100 
tons a week. The collector of customs at San Francisco fur- 
nishes the information that for the fiscal year 1887-1888 the 
export of abalone shell amounted to $185,414, which, together 
with $35,000, the value of the dried meat annually exported, 
makes this quite an important industry. These shells secrete 
very curious pearly masses, sometimes of fine lustre and choice 
enough to deserve a place among pearls. A pearl measuring 
2 inches in length and from i to J inch in width has been 


found. A necklace made in California from the finest speci- 
mens was valued at over $2,000. A pearl over half an inch 
long and of good color cost $30 and was used as the body of a 
jeweled fly. The abalone pearls from the coasts of Korea and 
Japan are often very beautiful. In a lot of about one hundred 
shells only five were found bearing pearls, two with three pearls 
each, two with two pearls each, and one with a single pearl. 

The history of American pearls dates back to the dis- 
covery of the New World. Arthur Helps 1 says : 

“ It is strange that this little glistening bead, the pearl, 
should have been the cause of so much movement in the world 
as it has been. There must be something essentially beautiful 
in it, however, for it has been dear to the eyes both of civilized 
and uncivilized people. The dark-haired Roman lady, in the 
palmiest days of Rome, cognizant of all the beautiful produc- 
tions in the world, valued the pearl as highly as ever did the 
simple Indian woman, and a love for these glistening beads 
came upon the Spaniards from two quarters, from the Romans 
who had colonized them, and from the Moors they had con. 
quered. The perilous nature, however, of his submarine pos- 
sessions was not yet visible to the poor innocent Indian on the 
coast of Paria or Cumana, and it was with childish delight that 
he threw the strings of pearls, strung in a way that would have 
driven the jewelers of Europe wild with vexation, on the 
smooth brown arm or rich brown neck of his beloved.” 

Of Columbus 1 it is said that the natives of Paria possessed 
such quantities of fine pearls that the most sanguine anticipa- 
tions were roused in him. Remembering the assertion of Pliny, 
that pearls were generated from drops of dew which fell into 
the mouths of oysters, he deemed no place so propitious as this 
coast for their growth and multiplication. When nearing the 
island of Cubagua, this admiral, Charlevoix tells us, beheld a 
number of Indians fishing for pearls, who at the approach of 
the strangers at once made for the land. A boat being sent to 
communicate with them, one of the sailors noticed many strings 

1 The Spanish Conquest of America (London, 1S55), Vol. 2, p, 89. 

3 Life and Voyages of Columbus and his Companions, by Washington Irving (New Yorkj 1849), 



of pearls around the neck of a woman. Having a plate of Valen- 
cia-ware, a kind of porcelain painted and varnished with gaudy 
colors, he broke it, and presented the pieces to the Indian 
woman, who gave him in exchange a considerable number of 
her pearls. These he carried to the admiral, who immediately 
sent persons on shore well provided with Valencian plates and 
hawks’-bells, for which, in a little time, he procured about three 
pounds’ weight of pearls, some of which were of a very large size, 
and were sent by him afterward to the sovereigns as specimens. 

At the time of the Spanish invasion, the pearl was held in 
high esteem by the Mexican people as an ornament, and, upon 
occasions of state, its beauties were invoked to increase the 
magnificence of the apparel and lend additional lustre to the 
pomp of royalty. When Montezuma alighted from his regal 
palanquin, “ blazing with burnished gold ” and overshadowed by 
a “canopy of gaudy feather-work powdered with jewels and 
fringed with silver,” to grant personal audience to Cortez, his 
cloak and golden-soled sandals were sprinkled with pearls and 
precious stones. 

To Vasco Nuhez de Balboa, Tumaco gave jewels of gold 
and 200 pearls of great size and beauty, although they were 
somewhat discolored. Observing the value which the Span- 
iards set upon them, the cacique sent a number of his men to 
fish for them. The largest pearls were generally found in the 
deepest water, sometimes in three or four fathoms, and were 
sought only in calm weather. The smaller pearls were taken 
at a depth of two or three feet, and the oysters containing them 
were often driven in quantities on the beach during the violent 
storms. The party of pearl divers sent by the cacique consisted 
of thirty Indians, with whom Balboa sent six Spaniards as eye- 
witnesses. A number of the shell-fish were driven on shore, 
from which they collected enough to yield pearls to the value of 
twelve marks of gold. They were small but exceedingly beau- 
tiful, not having been injured by heat like those collected by 
the Indians, who opened the shells by putting them in a fire, 
and many of these pearls were sent to Spain as specimens.’ 

1 Life and Voyages of Columbus and his Companions, hy Washington Trvm^ (New York, 1S49), 
Vol. 3, p. I Si. 

■ ■ 

Oviedo, the Spanish historian, commemorates the circum- 
stance that this cacique, Tumaco, subsequently furnished Bah 
boa with a canoe formed from the trunk of an enormous tree 
and managed by a great number of Indians* The handles of 
the paddles were inlaid with small pearls, a fact which Balboa 
caused his companions to testif) r before the notary, that it 
might be reported to the sovereigns as a proof of the wealth of 
this newly discovered sea* In another bay of the Pacific coast, 
this bold navigator saw groups of islands abounding with pearls, 
many of them as large as a man's eye* 

Barnard Shipp states, “The first Spaniards who landed on 
terra firma found savages decked with necklaces and bracelets 
of pearls, and among the civilized people of Mexico and Peru, 
pearls of a beautiful form were generally sought after* The 
Indians of Virginia wore pendants in their ears, and round their 
arms chains and bracelets of pearls* 11 1 

When the King of Spain made Hernando De Soto Governor 
of Cuba and conqueror of Florida, with the title of Adelantado, 
his concession provided that one-fifth of all the gold and silver, 
precious stones and pearls, won in battle, or entering towns, or 
obtained by barter with the Indians, be reserved to the Crown* 
It was further stipulated that the gold and silver, stones, pearls, 
and other things which might be found and taken, as well in the 
graves, sepulchers, ocues or temples of the Indians, as in other 
places where they were accustomed to offer sacrifices to idols, 
or in other concealed religious precincts or buried houses, or in 
any other public place, “ should be equally divided between the 
king and the party making the disco very. ” a 

It is evident that among the valuable trophies of this ex- 
pedition, precious pearls were confidently anticipated, and that 
the Spaniards were not disappointed in this expectation the 
early narratives abundantly testify* These establish beyond all 
controversy that pearls were used as ornaments among the In- 
dians of Florida and the South. 

It is related how, near the Bay of Espiritu Santo (now 
Jampa Bay), in Florida, the followers of De Soto came upon 

1 The History of Hernando De Soto and Florida (Philadelphia, 1SS1), 

- Antiquities of the Southern Indians, by Chailes C* Jones (New York, 1873), p- 467. 



the town of an Indian chief called Ucita, His house stood 
near the beach, and at the other end of the town, was a temple, 
on the top of which perched a wooden fowl with gilded eyes. 
Within these eyes were pearls such as the Indians greatly 
value, piercing them for beads and stringing them to wear about 
their necks and wrists. 

When the Indian queen welcomed the Spanish adventurer 
to the hospitalities of the Cutifachiqui, she drew from over 
her head a long string of pearls, and throwing it around his 
neck, exchanged with him gracious words of friendship and 
courtesy. Observing that the Christians valued these pearls, 
the cacica told the governor that if he would order some sepul- 
chers to be searched that were in the village, he would find many ; 
and, if he chose to send to those which were in the uninhabited 
towns, he might load all his horses with them. The Spaniards 
did examine and rifle of their contents the sepulchers in Cuti- 
fachiqui ; and, upon the authority of the Knight of Elvas, 
obtained from them 350 pounds’ weight of pearls, some of which 
were formed after the similitude of babies and birds. If the 
truth were known, or if an Indian had written this account, we 
should feel assured that De Soto and his companions, in their 
eager quest for treasures, violated the graves without permis- 
sion and plundered the receptacles wherein were gathered the 
most costly possessions of the natives. As a proof that the 
Indians did not willingly part with these ornaments, but suf- 
fered the pillage through fear of these strange and wanton men, 
we are informed that when the cacica, whom De Soto com- 
pelled to accompany him with the intention of taking her to 
Guaxule, which was the farthest limit of her territory, suc- 
ceeded in making her escape, she carried back with her a 
cane box filled with unbored pearls, the most precious of 
all her jewels. 

Luys Hernandez de Biedma says that the governor, while 
at this town, opened a “mosque” in which were interred the 
chief personages of that country. “ From it we took a quantity of 
pearls of the weight of as many as or 7 arrobas, though they 
were injured from lying in the earth and in the adipose sub- 
stance of the dead.” In the estimate of the relator, one of the 



saddest losses encountered by the expedition in the bloody 
affair at Manilla was the destruction of the pearls which the 
Spaniards had been sedulously collecting during their wander- 
ings in this strange land. 

The most minute and interesting description of the manner 
in which the Indians obtained pearls and converted them into 
beads is that furnished by Garcilasso Inca de la Vega. During 
the time when De Soto remained in the town of Ichiaha, which 
was probably located at or near the confluence of the Etowah 
and Oostanaula Rivers, and possibly the very spot now occu- 
pied by the village of Rome, Ga., the following circumstances 
occurred : “ The cacique came one day to the governor, bringing 
him a present of a string of pearls, five feet in length. These 
pearls were as large as filberts, and had they not been bored by 
means of fire, which had discolored them, would have been of 
immense value. De Soto thankfully received them, and in 
return presented the Indian chief with pieces of velvet and 
cloth of various colors, and other Spanish trifles held in much 
esteem by the natives. In reply to the demand of De Soto, 
the cacique stated that the pearls had been obtained in the 
neighborhood. He further told him that in the sepulcher of 
his ancestors was amassed a prodigious quantity, of which the 
Spaniards were welcome to carry away as many as they pleased. 
The Adclantado thanked him for his good will, but replied that, 
much as he wished for pearls, he never would insult the sanctu- 
aries of the dead to obtain them, adding that he only accepted 
the string of pearls from the chieftain’s hands. 

“ De Soto having expressed a curiosity to see the manner of 
extracting pearls from the shells, the cacique instantly de- 
spatched forty canoes to fish for oysters during the night. At 
an early hour next morning, a quantity of wood was gathered 
and piled up on the river bank, and being set on fire was 
speedily reduced to glowing embers. As soon as the canoes 
arrived, the oysters were laid upon the hot coals. They quickly 
opened with the heat, and from some of the first thus opened, 
the Indians obtained ten or twelve pearls as large as peas, 
which they brought to the governor and the cacique, who were 
standing together looking on. They were of a fine quality, but 


somewhat discolored by the fire and smoke. The Indians were 
apt also to further injure pearls thus obtained by boring them 
with a heated copper instrument. 

“De Soto, having gratified his curiosity, returned to his 
quarters to partake of his morning meal. While thus engaged 
a soldier entered with a large pearl in his hand. He had 
stewed some oysters, and in eating them, felt the pearl between 
his teeth. Not having been injured by fire or smoke, it re- 
tained its beautiful whiteness, and was so large and perfect in 
its form that several Spaniards, who pretended to be skilled in 
those matters, declared it would be worth 400 ducats. The sol- 
dier would have given it to the governor to present to his wife, 
Dona Isabel de Bobadilla, but De Soto declined the generous 
offer, advising him to preserve it until he should arrive at 
Havana, when he could purchase horses and other necessaries 
with it ; moreover, as a reward for his liberality, De Soto in- 
sisted upon paying the fifth of the value due the Crown.” 1 

During the course of the weary march of the expedition 
through the mountains of Upper Georgia, the following circum- 
stance is related by the same historian. 

“A foot-soldier, calling to a horseman who was his friend, 
drew forth from his wallet a linen bag in which were six pounds 
of pearls, probably filched from one of the Indian sepulchers. 
These he offered as a gift to his comrade, being heartily tired 
of carrying them on his back, though he had a pair of broad 
shoulders capable of bearing the burden of a mule. The horse- 
man refused to accept so thoughtless an offer. ‘ Keep them 
yourself,’ said he. ‘You have most need of them. The governor 
intends shortly to send messengers to Havana, when you can 
forward these presents and have them sold, and obtain three or 
four horses with the proceeds, so that you need no longer go 
on foot.’ Juan Terron was piqued at having his offer refused. 
‘Well,’ said he, ‘if you will not have them, I swear I will not 
carry them, and they shall remain here.’ So saying, he untied 
the bag, and whirling it around, as if he were sowing seed, 

1 The foregoing is taken from Theodore Irving’s Conquest of Florida under Hernando De 
Soto (London, 1835), Vol. 2, p. 14, and is from Pierre RichetePs translation made in 1831. De 
la Vega’s entire work, translated from the same source, appears in the History of Hernando De 
Soto and Florida, by Barnard Shipp (Philadelphia, i$Si), 


scattered the pearls in all directions among the thickets and 
herbage. Then putting up the bag in his wallet, as if it was 
more valuable than the pearls, he marched on, leaving his com- 
rades and other bystanders astonished at his folly. The soldiers 
made a hasty search for the scattered pearls and recovered 
thirty of them. When they beheld their great size and beauty, 
none of them being bored or discolored, they lamented that so 
many of them had been lost; for the whole would have sold 
in Spain for more than 6,000 ducats. This egregious folly 
gave rise to a common proverb in the army, ‘There are no 
pearls for Juan Terron.’ The poor fellow himself became an 
object of constant jest and ridicule, until at last, made sensible 
of his absurd conduct, he implored them never to banter him 
further on the subject.” 1 

Fontaneda states that at the place where Lucas Vflsquez 
went, seed-pearls were found in certain conchs, and that between 
Havalachi and Olagale is a river called by the Indians Guasaca- 
esqui, which means in the Spanish language Rio de Canas 
(river of canes), which is an arm of the sea, and along the adja- 
cent coast, pearls are procured from certain oysters and conchs. 
These are carried to all the provinces and villages of Florida, 
but principally to Tocobaja, the nearest town. The Indians of 
the town of Abalachi asserted that the Spaniards hanged their 
cacique because he would not give them a string of large pearls 
which he wore around his neck, the middle pearl of which was 
as big as the egg of a turtle-dove. Ribault frequently alludes 
to the possession of pearls by the natives of Florida, and on 
one occasion saw the goodliest man of a company of Indians 
with a collar of gold and silver about his neck from which de- 
pended a pearl “as large as an acorn at the least.” 5 

David Ingram, during the “ Land Travels ” of himself and 
others in the year 1568-1569, from the Rio di Minas in the 
Gulf of Mexico to Cape Breton in Acadia, made the following 
observation : “ There is in some of those Countreys great abun- 
dance of Pearle, for in every cottage he founde Pearle, in some 
howse a quarte, in some a pottell, in some a pecke, more or lesse, 

1 Conquest of Florida under Hernando De Soto, by Theodore Irving (London, 1835), Vol. 2, 

P* 7 - 

2 The Whole and True Discovery of Terra Florida, by Thomas Hackctt (London, 1563), 


where he did see some as great as an acorn, and Richard 
Browne, one of his companions, found one of these great pearls 
in one of their canoes, or Boates, wch Pearle gaue to Mouns 
Champaine, whoe toke them aboarde his Shippe, and brought 
them to Newhaven in ffrunce,” 1 

The English were quick to note the presence of pearls in 
this country, and it is interesting to find that, centuries before, 
Suetonius states that Cmsar undertook his British expedition 
for the sake of finding pearls, and Pliny and Tacitus report his 
bringing home a buckler made of British pearls, which he dedi- 
cated to Venus Genetrix’ and hung up in her temple. An ac- 
count of the pearl fisheries in Ireland was published, stating 
that oysters were found set up in the sands of the river-beds, 
with the open side from the torrent. About one in one hun- 
dred would contain a pearl, and one pearl in one hundred would 
be tolerably clear. Between the years 1761 and 1764 the river 
Conway in Scotland supplied the London market with pearls 
to the value of ,£10,000 sterling, and fine Scotch pearls are still 
sold in London. The rivers of Cumberland, the Conway in 
Wales and the Tay in Scotland, have yielded pearls that were 
noted for their beauty in time past. 

Father Louis Hennepin assures us that the Indians along 
the Mississippi wore bracelets and ear-rings of fine pearls, which 
they spoilt, having nothing to bore them with but fire. He 
adds : “ They gave us to understand that they received them in 
exchange for their calumets from nations inhabiting the coast of 
the great lake to the southward, which I take to be the Gulph 
of Florida.” 4 

A member of the expedition of Sir Walter Raleigh col- 
lected from the natives of Virginia 5,000 pearls, “ of which num- 
ber he chose so many as made a fayre chaine, which for their 
likenesse and uniformity in roundnesse, orientnesse and 
pidenesse of many excellent colors, with equalitie in greatness, 
were very fayre and rare.”* 

1 Documents connected with the History of South Carolina, edited by Plowden Charles Jennctt 
Weston (London, 1856), p + S. 

4 Transactions of the Philosophic Society for 1693. 

3 New Discovery, etc. (London, 1698}, p. 177. 

J A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (Frankfort on the Main, 
1590), p. 11. 



In the plates illustrative of the “ Admiranda Narratio 7 ' and 
the “ Brevis Narratio/ the natives both of Virginia and Florida 
are represented in the possession of numerous strings of pearls 
of large size; and in his description of the “treasure of riches 1 ' 
of the Virginia Indians, Robert Bevery says ; “ They likewise 
have some pearls amongst them, and formerly had many more, 
but where they got them is uncertain, except they found them in 
the oyster banks which are frequent in this country/' 1 

Wilson asserts that he saw pearls “bigger than Rouncival 
pease/' and perfectly round, taken from oysters found on the 
Carolina coast/ 

The existence of shell-heaps may also be traced to the 
making of wampum and of shell beads in general, which formed 
a trade among the tribes inhabiting the sea coast. This labor 
required much time, and promised success only to those who, 
by long practise, had attained skill in the operation* The 
supposition gains some ground by an observation of Roger 
Williams, who states that " most on the Sea side make Money 
and Store up shells in Summer against Winter whereof to make 
their money/ 7 He further observes: “They have some who 
follow onely making Bowes, some Arrowes, some Dishes (and 
the women make all their Earthen vessels), some follow fish- 
ing, some hunting/' 1 

Kjoekkenmoeddings on the St. Johns River, Florida, con- 
sisting of river shells, were examined and described by Prof, 
Jefferies Wyman* He saw similar accumulations on the banks 
of the Concord River, in Massachusetts, and was informed by 
eye-witnesses that they are numerous in California/ 

Charles Ran 6 says : “ The term 'wampum 7 is often applied 
to shell-beads in general, but should be confined, I think, to a 
certain class of cylindrical beads, usually | of an inch 
long and drilled lengthwise, which were chiefly manufactured 

J History of the Present State of Virginia (London, 1705), Book 3, p* 59. 

5 An Account of the Province of Carolina {London* 1682), p* 12. 

3 A Key into the Language of America, reprinted from the London edition of 1643 (Frovi* 
deuce, 1827), p. 1331. 

4 Cf* Fresh -Water Shell -Heaps of the St.John's River, East Florida (Salem, Mass*, 1868), 

p. 6. 

h Ancient Aboriginal Trade in North America, in the Report of Smithsonian Institution for 
1872, p* 32 of Mr. Rau’s reprint* 


from the shells of the common hard-shell clam (Venus 
mercenaria). This bivalve occurring, as every one knows, in 
great abundance on the North American coasts, formed an 
important article of food of the Indians living near the sea, a 
fact demonstrated by the enormous quantity of cast-away clam- 
shells, which form a considerable part of North American 
Kjoekkenmoeddings (as these heaps are called). The natives 
used to string the mollusks and to dry them for consumption 
during the winter. The blue or violet portions of the clam- 
shells furnished the material for the dark wampum, which was 
held in much higher estimation than that made of the white 
part of the shell or of the spires of certain univalves. Even at 
the present time, places are pointed out on the Atlantic sea- 
board, for example on that of Long Island, where the Indians 
manufactured wampum, and such localities may be recognized 
by the accumulations of clam-shells from which the blue por- 
tions are broken off.” 

Wampum beads formed a favorite material for the manu- 
facture of necklaces, bracelets, and other articles of ornament, 
and they constituted the strings and belts of wampum which 
played such a conspicuous part in Indian history. Loskiel 
says on this point : “Soon after their arrival in America, the 
Europeans began to manufacture wampum from shells, very 
neatly and in abundance, exchanging it to the Indians for other 
commodities, thus carrying on a very profitable trade. The 
Indians now abandoned their wooden belts and strings and sub- 
stituted those of shells. The latter, of course, gradually 
declined in value, but, nevertheless, were and still are much 
prized.” 1 

According to Albert J. Pickett, the oyster alluded to by 
Garcilasso was identical with the mussel so common in all the 
rivers of Alabama. “ Heaps of mussel shells," he says, “ arc 
now to be seen on our river banks wherever Indians used to 
live. They were much used by the ancient Indians for some 
purpose, and old warriors have informed me that their ancestors 
once used the shells to temper the clay with which they made 
their vessels. But as thousands of the shells lie banked up, 

1 Mission der evangelischen Brlider imter den Indianem in Nordamerika (Barbj, 1789), p, 34. 


some deep in the ground, we may also suppose that the Indians 
in De Soto's time, everywhere in Alabama, obtained pearls from 
them. There can be no doubt about the quantity of pearls 
found in this State and Georgia in 1540, but they were of a 
coarser and more valueless kind than the Spaniards supposed. 
The Indians used to perforate them with a heated copper spindle 
and string them around their necks and arms like beads,” 1 

Sufficient historical evidence has been given to show that 
pearls were in general use among the southern Indians; that 
the choicest of them were the prized ornaments of the promi- 
nent personages of the tribes ; that the fluviatile mussels were 
collected and opened for the purpose of procuring them ; that 
the marine shells of the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and the 
Pacific, yielded generous and beautiful tribute to the labor, skill, 
and taste of numerous and well- trained pearl divers; and that 
these pearls were found, not only in the possession of the 
living, but also in large quantities in the graves of chieftains 
and the sepulchers of the undistinguished dead. A present of 
pearls from the caciques to the conquerors was an earnest 
token of consideration and the most acceptable pledge of 
friendship that he could offer. 

Doubtless, however, the accounts that have reached us 
from the pens of the historians of these expeditions and voy- 
ages are somewhat extravagant with regard to the quality and 
quantity and size of the pearls seen in the possession of the 
natives* From these interviews between the Europeans and the 
natives, it appears that the Indians obtained their supplies of 
pearls both from marine shells and from fresh-water mussels* 
Some of the oysters in Georgia and Florida are margaritiferous 
and many of them contain seed-pearls* Specimens symmetrical 
in shape, as large as peppercorns, and not wanting in beauty, 
have been observed by Charles C. Jones, who says: “Some 
were quite big enough to have been perforated in the rude 
fashion practised by the Indians. They were, however, of a 
milky color and opaque* Neither in size nor quality did they 
answer the description spoken of in the Spanish narratives,” 1 


Perforated pearls were found by Dr. Edwin H. Davis' on the 
hearths of five distinct groups of mounds in Ohio, and sometimes 
in such abundance that they could be gathered by the hundred. 
They were* generally of irregular form, mostly pear-shaped, 
though perfectly round ones were also found among them. The 
smaller specimens measured about t of an inch in diameter, but 
the largest had a diameter of 4- of an inch. 

According to this same authority, pearl-bearing shells occur 
in the rivers of the region whose antiquities are described, but 
not in such abundance that they could have furnished the 
amount discovered in the tumuli, and the pearls of these fluvia- 
tile shells, moreover, are said to be far inferior in size to those 
recovered from the altars. The latter, it was erroneously 
thought, were derived from the Atlantic coast and from that 
of the Mexican Gulf, 

The Indians of Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and the 
other Southern States, subsisted largely on oysters, clams, and 
conchs, as shown by the numerous refuse piles and shell heaps 
that abound upon the salt-water creeks. It is not matter of 
surprise that the Indians, as they opened these shells, should 
have carefully watched for pearls, and from the vast numbers 
examined, should have accumulated a store. If the shores of 
Carolina, Georgia, and Florida did not afford the larger and 
more highly-prized pearls, it is not improbable that pearls from 
the islands and lower portions of the Gulf of Mexico, and even 
from the Pacific Ocean, may have found theirway into the heart 
of Georgia and Florida and into more northern localities, to be 
there bartered away for skins and other articles. The replies 
of Indians to Father Hennepin and others, and the presence 
in remote localities of beads, ornaments, and drinking-cups made 
of marine shells and conchs, still peculiar to the Gulf of Mexico, 
confirm the truthfulness of this suggestion. 4 

But marine shells are not the only source whence the 
southern Indians derived their pearls. The fluviatile mussels 
contributed perhaps more freely than other shells to the treas- 

1 See Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, by Ephraim G« Squier and Edwin H. 
Davis (Washington, 1S4S), p, 232, 

5 Ancient Aboriginal Trade in North America, by Charles Rau, Report of the Smithsonian 
Institution for 1S72 (Washington, 1S73), 


ures of these early people. At various points along the 
southern rivers, relic beds are found, composed of the fresh- 
water shells native to the streams. The inland lakes of Florida 
show similar evidences of occupancy of their shores by aborig- 
ines, and even some ponds in middle Georgia and Alabama 
exhibit along their banks signs of ancient refuse piles where 
lacustrine shells abound. These heaps are common in the 
South, and several of them on the banks of the Savannah River, 
above Augusta, are fully described by Charles C. Jones, 1 He 
says: “In these relic beds no two parts of the same shell are, 

as a general rule, found in juxtaposition. The hinge is broken, 
and the valves of the shell, after having been artificially torn 
asunder, seem to have been carelessly cast aside and allowed to 

Thus, in addition to the historical evidence given, physical 
proof is adduced of the pearl fisheries of the aboriginal tribes of 
the South. In order to ascertain the precise varieties of shells 
from which the southern Indians obtained their pearls, Mr, 
Jones invited an expression of opinion from the following 
scientists, whose pursuits rendered them familiar with the 
conchology of the United States. They throw considerable 
light upon this inquiry. 

Du William Stimpson, of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, 
considered the statements of the early Spanish historians with 
regard to the size of the pearls (as large as filberts) exagger- 
ated. He says: “The pearls of the Aviculse, our only marga- 

ritiferous marine genus, are very small, and those of the oyster 
valueless. The Indians must have obtained their pearls from 
the fresh-water bivalves (Unio and Anodon) which abound in 
the rivers of Georgia, etc. These are usually small, but in very 
rare instances examples have occurred reaching in diameter of 
an inch,” 

“ Most of the fresh-water mussels,” writes Prof. Joseph 
Le Conte, “ contain small pearls now and then. By far the best ^ 
and largest number I have seen were taken from the Anodon 
gibbosa (Lea), a large and beautiful shell abundant in the 

1 Antiquities of the Southern Indians (New York, 1873), p, 483; also Monumental Remains 
of Georgia (Savannah, lS6l), p, 14. 


swamps of Liberty County, Ga., at least in Bulltown and Ala- 
tamaha Swamps. Some of the pearls taken from this species 
are as large as swan-shot. Of the salt-water shells, I know not 
if any produce pearls except the oyster (Ostrea Virginica). 
Pearls of small size are sometimes found in them.” 

Prof. William S. Jones, of the University of Georgia, says 
that he has seen small pearls In many of the Unios found in 
Southern Georgia. 

Prof. Jefferies Wyman, after a careful and extensive series 
of excavations in the shell heaps of Florida, failed to find a 
single pearl. “It is hardly probable,” he remarks, “that the 
Spaniards could have been mistaken as to the fact of the orna- 
ments of the Indians being pearls, but in view of their frequent 
exaggerations, I am almost compelled to the belief that there 
was some mistake ; and possibly they may not have distin- 
guished between the pearls and the shell beads, some of which 
would correspond with the size and shape of the pearls men- 
tioned by the Spaniards.” 

Prof. Joseph Jones, whose investigations throw much valu- 
able light upon the contents of the ancient tumuli of Tennessee, 
says : “ I do not remember finding a genuine pearl in the many 
mounds which I have opened in the valleys of the Tennessee, 
the Cumberland, the Harpeth, and elsewhere. Many of the 
pearls described by the Spaniards were probably little else than 
polished beads cut out of large sea-shells and from the thicker 
portions of fresh-water mussels, and prepared so as to resemble 
pearls. I have examined thousands of these, and they all pre- 
sent a laminated structure, as if carved out of thick shells and 
sea conchs.” 

Charles M. Wheatley was confident that there were 
“splendid pearls in southern Unios.” He instances the Unio 
Blandingianus and the large old Unio Buddianus (Buckleyi) 
from Lakes George and Monroe in Florida, as pearl bearing. 
“ In Georgia,” he continues, “ the large, thick shells of the 
Chattahoochee, such as the Unio Elliottii, would be the most 
likely to contain fine ones ; but there is no positive rule, as 
an injured shell of any species will doubtless afford some, 
irregular in most cases and of no value, but in some instances 



worth from $50 to $100.” He also mentions that he has re* 
ceived from the Tennessee River, in Alabama, fine round pearls 
both white and rose colored. 

John G. Anthony writes: “I never have collected in 
Florida and but little in Georgia, but what I can say about 
Ohio I presume will hold good in other States, that the Unios 
of various species furnish them tolerably abundantly there. 
They are not confined to any one particular species, but are 
generally found in the thicker and more ponderous shells, 
though even the thinner shells often have small ones, especially 
such as are found in canals, ponds, and places which seem to be 
not so healthy for the animal on account of stagnant water. I 
recollect taking over twenty small ones out of the mantle of 
one specimen of Unio fragilis, U. gracilis (Barnes), which I found 
in the Miami Canal ; and almost every old shell there had more 
or fewer pearls in it. U. torsus (Raf.), U. orbiculatus (Hil- 
dreth), U. costalus (Raf,), and U. undulatus (Barnes), also pro- 
duce them in Ohio, i have seen about half a pint of beautiful 
pearls, regularly formed and pea size, which were taken in one 
season and in one neighborhood ; so you may judge of their fre- 
quency, though, as I hinted before, it is probable that a kind of 
disease caused by impure water may govern their production 
somewhat. No doubt the southern waters are given to making 
pearls, as well as Ohio streams. I have seen protuberances of 
the pearl character in southern shells, and have no doubt that 
one collecting them with the animal in them would find pearls. 
I particularly recollect Unio globulus (Say) and U. Mortoni 
(Conrad), both Louisiana species, as having these protuberances 
in their nacreous matter. Georgia Unios are generally too thin 
to produce any excess of pearly matter and form pearls, but 
the Louisiana shells from Bayou Techa, which I have seen, 
have a remarkably pearly nacre, quite thick, reminding one very 
much of the marine shell Trigonia, as to nacre. No doubt the 
bayous, which have in general no current at all, would make 
first-rate places for pearl breeding.” 

Dr. Charles Rau ' writes: “I learned from Dr. Samuel G. 

1 Ancient Aboriginal Trade in North America, Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1872, 
P* 38 of the author’s reprint. 


2 55 

Bristow, who was surgeon of the Army of the Cumberland 
during the Civil War, that mussels of the Tennessee River 
were occasionally eaten ‘as a change’ by the soldiers of that 
corps, and pronounced no bad article of diet. Shells of the 
Unio are sometimes found in Indian graves, where they had 
been deposited.with the dead, to serve as food during the jour- 
ney to the land of spirits.” 

Dr. Brinton saw on the Tennessee River and its tributaries 
numerous shell heaps consisting almost exclusively of the Unio 
Virginianus (Lamarck). In every instance he found shell 
heaps close to the water-courses, on the rich alluvial bottom 
lands. He says : “ The mollusks had evidently been opened by 
placing them on a fire. The Tennessee mussel is margaritifer- 
ous, and there is no doubt but that it was from this species that 
the early tribes obtained the hoards of pearls which the histo- 
rian of De Soto’s exploration estimated by bushels, and which 
were so much prized as ornaments.” ' 

A source has recently been pointed out whence small pearls, 
and perhaps some fine specimens, could have been obtained 
by the Indians of Florida, and in considerable quantities. In 
the Unios of some of the fresh-water lakes of that State, there 
were found not less than 3,000 pearls, most of them small, 
but many large enough to be perforated and worn as beads. 
From one Unio there were taken eighty-four seed-pearls ; from 
another fifty, from a third twenty, and from several ten or 
twelve each. The examinations were chiefly confined to Lake 
Griffin and its vicinity. It is said that upon one of the isles in 
Lake Okeechobee are the remains of an old pearl fishery, and it 
is proposed to open the shells of this lake, which are large, in 
hopes of finding pearls of superior size and quality. 

The use of the pearl as an ornament by the southern Indi- 
ans, and the quantities of shells opened by them in various 
localities, make it seem strange that it is not more frequently 
met with in the relic-beds and sepulchral tumuli of that re- 
gion; but after exploring many shell and earth mounds, Col. 
Charles C. Jones failed, except in a few instances, to find pearls.' 

1 See Artificial Shell Deposits in the United States, in the Report of the Smithsonian Institution 
for 1866, p. 357. 

- Antiquities of Southern Indians, p* 4 86. 



A few were obtained in an extensive relic bed on the Savannah 
River, above Augusta, the largest being ^ of an inch in 
diameter, and all of them blackened by fire. Many of the 
smaller mounds on the coast of Georgia do not contain pearls, 
because at the period of their construction the custom of burn- 
ing the dead appears to have prevailed very generally ; hence, 
it may be that the pearls were either immediately consumed or 
so seriously injured as to crumble out of sight. 

This absence of pearls tends somewhat to confirm the 
opinion that beads and ornaments made from the thicker por- 
tions of shells that were carved, perforated, and brilliant with 
their primal covering, were regarded by the imaginative Span- 
iards as pearls. More minute investigation, however, will doubt- 
less reveal the existence of pearls in localities where the pearl- 
bearing shells were collected. Perforated pearls have been 
found in an ancient burying-ground located near the bank of the 
Ogeeche River, in Bryan County, Ga.; and many years ago, 
after a heavy freshet on the Oconee River, which laid bare 
many Indian graves in the neighborhood of the large mounds on 
Poullain’s plantation, fully a hundred pearls of considerable size 
were gathered. 

There can be no doubt that what were regarded as pearls 
by the early Spanish voyagers were really such, although it is 
well known that shell-beads have been found in mounds in con- 
nection with pearls ; but the numbers found in Ohio, and which 
have been mentioned by Prof. Frederick W. Putnam and by 
others, leave no room for doubt in this matter. That the In- 
dians of the South also had these pearls, both drilled and 
undrilled, is beyond question. Notwithstanding the intimacy 
existing between remote Indian tribes, as shown by many 
authorities, and the fact that Pacific coast shells have been 
carried to Arizona, and that clam shells have been found in 
Zuni cities by Lieut. Frank H. Cushing, it is likely that these 
pearls came, not from the pearl oyster of the Pacific coast, 
but from the marine shells of the Atlantic coast and the 
fresh-water shells of the eastern part of the continent. It is 
more than probable that the Indians opened the shell to secure 
the animal, which they valued as an article of food ; that the 



shells of some varieties, such as the common clam and the 
conch, were made into wampum ; and that the pearls found 
in the shells were used as ornaments, whether lusterless pearls 
from the common oyster or lustrous ones from the Umo, The 
great shell-heaps along our coasts bear evidence that many 
pearls must have been found, and that, though the Spaniards 
who invaded the country may indeed have obtained great hoards 
of pearls, all of them, perhaps, were not of great value. 


In the Dominion of Canada, 

A LTHOUGH Canada can scarcely be called a gem-pro- 
ducing country, and no mining for precious stones 
is carried on there, still it furnishes some stones 
that are of more than passing interest to the mineral- 
ogist and of some little value in jewelry and the arts. A num- 
ber of gem minerals, not of gem quality, are here obtained of 
such wonderful size and perfection that they have been given 
places in the cabinets of the world, and are even more prized 
as specimens than cut stones from other localities. Their min- 
eral ogical value gives them commercial importance. For in- 
stance, the zircon crystals, occurring as individuals up to 15 
pounds in weight, many fine ones weighing nearly a pound, and 
the beautiful twin crystals of the same mineral ; the dark brown 
titanlte in simple and twinned crystals up to jo pounds each ; the 
quantities of amethyst from Lake Superior ; the ouvarovite or 
green chrome-garnet from Orford, Ont. ; and the white garnet 
crystals from near Wakefield, Que., are among the most notable 
Canadian minerals. Not the least wonderful are the apatite 
crystals (one weighing over 500 pounds), which are found of 
such size and beauty that the rich green variety might be 
worked into ornaments similar to those made from fluorite. 

Corundum, in red and blue crystals, has been found in lime- 




stone near Burgess, Ont., also disseminated through a rock made 
up of feldspar, quartz, calcite, and titanite, in contact with the 
crystalline limestone. These grains vary from light rose-red to 
sapphire-blue color, and are of no gem value, nor in quantity suf- 
ficient for commercial use. 

In the seigniory of Daillebout, Que., translucent octahedrons 
of blue spinel are found in micaceous limestone ; and from Wake- 
field, Que., come pink and dark-bluish spinels in rounded cubic 
crystals and opaque light-blue cubes nearly an inch in diameter. 
Very interesting black spinels in brilliant crystals, 1 to 2 inches 
in diameter, occur in Burgess and Bathurst Townships, Ont., 
where a vein of them has been traced for a mile in one direction. 
They are also associated with fluorite in the township of Ross, 
Ont. None of these possess gem value. 

At the World's Fair held in London, 1862, there was exhib- 
ited two so called topazes, from Cape Breton, N. S., one in the 
rough, and the other, which had been cut at Pictou, N. S., 1 an 
inch in length and of a yellow color,— the variety of this 
mineral peculiar to Brazil. This fact leads to the inference 
that these stones may have been citrine or artificially decolorized 
smoky quartz, and not the true mineralogical topaz. 

Little if any beryl of value for gems has been discovered in 
Canada, Pale-green, well-defined crystals have been reported 
by Dr. Bigsby at Rainy Lake, 230 miles west of Lake Super- 
ior ; and in Berthier and Saguenay Counties, Que., crystals 
over an inch in diameter have been found. 

The zircons of Ontario, especially those from Lake Clear, 
and Sebastopol and Brudenell Townships, in Renfrew County, 
are the most remarkable known for beauty, size, perfection, and 
richness of color. An occasional crystal top or a small fragment 
will afford a gem of the hyacinth variety, but they rarely exceed 
a carat in weight. Some of these individual crystals weigh 
about 15 pounds, and are more than 4 inches in diameter. One 
was observed 3 inches in diameter and nearly a foot in length. 
In Brudenell Township, twenty-five miles west of Eganville, Ont., 
fine crystals are obtained. The twin zircons from Lake Clear 
are beautiful and interesting, one of them measuring nearly 4 
inches in length ; they are of no gem value, but many 

26 o 


thousand dollars’ worth have been sold as specimens. Short’s 
Claim, on the north shore of Lake Clear, yields the 
choicest twins. Perhaps the finest twin crystals ever found, 
and one of the best single crystals, are in the British Mu- 
seum Collection ; while the best series of this mineral is probably 
that in the collection of Clarence S. Bement, of Philadelphia. 
An enormous single crystal is in the cabinet of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences at Philadelphia. In Burgess and adjoining 
townships fine crystals occur, not so large as those from Renfrew 
County, but of exquisite polish and highly modified forms; in 
Templeton and near Grenville, Que., especially four miles north, 
are found smaller crystals, often cherry-red and transparent, that 
would yield gems ; and many of the crystals are modified and 
associated with wollastonite and graphite. 

Tourmaline in green crystals is found in Chatham Town- 
ship, Que., and the green and red varieties in Villeneuve Town- 
ship, Que. Brown tourmalines are frequently met with in the 
Laurentian limestone. Fine crystals, rich yellowish or translu- 
cent brown in color, often occur imbedded in a flesh-red 
limestone in Ross, Ont., Calumet Falls, Clarendon, and 
Hunterstown, Que. These furnish an occasional gem. Slender 
crystals in white quartz occur at Fitzroy, Island Portage, and 
Lac des Chats, and of inferior color at McGregor’s Quarry in 
Lachute, Ont. Black tourmaline of no gem value is found in a 
number of localities, principally at Yeo’s Island, near the Upper 
end of Tar Island, one of the Thousand Islands. It occurs in 
large crystals at Murray Bay, Cape Tourmcnte, Que., and in white 
quartz near Bathurst, Ont. ; in the granitic veins in Ross, Ont. ; 
on Roche Fendue Channel, on Camping Place Bay, on Charles- 
ton Lake in Lansdowne, in Blythfield, on the Madawaska, and 
at North Elmsley and Lachute, Ont. ; and on the west side of 
the North River at St, Jerome, St. Felix, and Calumet 
Falls, Que. The velvet-black, fibrous tourmaline found at 
Madoc and Elzevir, Ont., gives a blue powder and is evidently 
an indicolite, like the variety from Paris, Me. 

Almandite garnets occur plentifully in crystals in mica schist 
along the Stickeen River in British Columbia. Owing to their per- 
fect form and polish, the faces of these crystals are the most beau- 



tiful in the world. Although they are not transparent enough to 
be of value to cut into gems, yet if obtained in sufficient quantity, 
they would be useful for watch jewels. Beds of nearly pure red 
garnet rock, from 5 to 25 feet thick, are sometimes met with in 
the gneiss at St. Jerome, Que., and in quartzite in Rawdon and 
Marmora Townships, Ont., and at Baie St. Paul, Que. Some 
small pieces would afford gems of little value, but the stone is of 
considerable use in the arts as a grinding material and for sand- 
paper. The large red garnet, disseminated through a white 
oligoclase gneiss, at Lake Simon, would not afford gems, but if 
polished with the rock would afford an ornamental stone. An- 
dradite garnet is found on Texada Island, B. C., in fair crystals, 
but not suitable for jewelry. Essonite, cinnamon-colored gar- 
net, is found in small crystals in Grenville, Que., but not of gem 
value, and in fine crystals, associated with idocrase, in Wakefield, 
Que. But few of these would furnish even small gems. Gros- 
sularite, white lime-alumina garnet, is found in Wakefield and in 
Hull, Que., in large quantity, in veins lining the crystalline lime- 
stone, and associated with essonite, idocrase, and pyroxene. This 
is the most remarkable locality for this mineral, superb crystals 
2 inches across having been found there, as well as groups of 
crystals a foot across. In color the crystals vary from colorless 
to light yellow and light brown, and some of them are transpar- 
ent enough to afford colorless gems of from 1 to 2 carats in 
weight. Melanite, black garnet, is found in Marmora, Ont., but 
it is not used for jewelry. Ouvarovite, or green chrome-garnet, 
found in Orford, Ont., yields the most beautiful known specimens 
of this rare mineral. The crystals, which are transparent dode- 
cahedrons, rarely over | inch in diameter, and of the deepest 
emerald-green color, are found lining druses in cavities of crys- 
talline limestone, often on the chrome pyroxene and associated 
with millerite. If it were not for the small size of the crystals, 
it would be a gem of the highest rank. A few crystals have 
been found in Wakefield, some of which rival in size any that 
have been discovered, the largest measuring nearly £ an inch in 
diameter. They are of a fine green color, but opaque, and some- 
times have a yellow center. 

Rock-crystal is found in many localities of Canada, 



especially in veins with amethyst in the Lake Superior 
region, but not of sufficient size to afford crystal balls or other 
art objects. The small, doubly terminated crystals found in the 
limestone of the Levis and Hudson River formations, and lo- 
cally called “ Quebec diamonds,” arc sold as souvenirs to tourists. 
Fine crystals are found in the sod in Lacolle, Que., and beautiful 
limpid crystals in the cavities of the calciferous formations in many 
places. Larger crystals have been found with smoky quartz near 
Paradise Bay, N. S., also in the geodes on agate throughout the 
entire Bay of Fundy district, and on the Musquash River, N. B., 
at Cape Blomidon, N. S, Milky quartz is found all through 
Canada, but it is never of any value in the arts except for por- 
celain. Rose quartz is also found in many localities, especially 
at Shelburne, N. S. It has little value in the arts, but has been 
made into various ornaments and charms. Smoky quartz in fine 
groups occurs in the same veins with amethyst on both Lake Su- 
perior and the Bay of Fundy, so uneven in color, however, as to 
afford gems of little value. It has been found in immense crys- 
tals in the vicinity of Paradise River, also near Bridgetown and 
Lawrencetown, Annapolis County, N. S., from a light yellow 
color to the dark, smoky “cairngorm.” Dr, How mentions 
a crystal 13 inches high and 6 inches in diameter. Single crys- 
tals, weighing 100 pounds each, have often been obtained from the 
decomposing granite and have been piled up with the stones from 
the fields, near Paradise River, and loose in the soil. It occurs 
in crystals about 2 inches in length at Mill Village, Lunenburgh 
County, N, S., and at Margaret’s Bay, Halifax County, N. S. 
In King's College cabinet there is a specimen of the almost 
black variety known as “ Morion,” with crystals & an inch across. 

Amethyst is found in some form in nearly every vein cutting 
the cherty and argillaceous slates around Thunder Bay, on the 
north shore of Lake Superior. At Amethyst Harbor this min- 
eral constitutes almost the entire vein, and numerous openings 
have been made to obtain it for tourists who visit the spot. 
Thousands of dollars’ worth are annually sold here, and as much 
more is sent to Niagara Falls, Pike’s Peak, Hot Springs, and 
other tourists’ resorts, as well as to the mineral dealers. Surfaces 
several feet across are often covered with crystals from i inch 


to 5 inches long, rich in color, and having a high polish. Some- 
times, when large, the crystals have a coating of a rusty brown 
color, owing to the oxidation of the included gothite. This is 
one of the famous occurrences of this mineral, regarded as nat- 
ural specimens, but the purple color is very unevenly distributed, 
and as the crystals are not transparent like those from Siberia, 
they afford very few gem-stones of value. In Nova Scotia, fine 
amethysts occur in bands, veins, and geodes at Partridge Island, 
Cumberland County, surfaces a foot square being covered with 
splendid purple crystals i inch across. Dr. Gesner mentions 
a geode that would hold about two gallons, found at Cape Sharp, 
nearly opposite Blomidon, N. S. Another, lining walls of chal- 
cedony with concentric bandings, and weighing 40 pounds, was 
found at Sandy Cove, Digby County, N. S. De Monts is said 
to have taken crystals from Partridge Island to Henry IV. of 
France, whom they greatly pleased, and a crystal from Blomidon 
was among the French crown jewels twenty years ago. A bushel 
of crystals was obtained by Dr. Webster, of Kentville, N. S., in 
digging a well. Dr. Gesner also states that he had seen a band 
of amethyst some feet in length and perhaps 2 inches thick, 
about a mile east of Hall's Harbor, N. S. Other localities are 
the south side of Nichols Mountain, Cape d’Or, Mink Cove, Scott’s 
Bay, in Nova Scotia, and Little Dipper Harbor and Nerepis in 
New Brunwick, and elsewhere along the Bay of Fundy. The 
beautiful masses of straight, concentric, and irregular banded 
amethyst (banded with quartz and agates) found in Nova Scotia 
on the Bay of Fundy, are similar to a variety found abroad, and 
used for ornamental purposes, principally for clock-cases and 
jewel-caskets. The material is slit into plates so thin that they 
are often strengthened by cementing them on plates of glass, and 
the colors are enhanced by setting the plates so that the light 
can pass through. Dr. How mentions prase, green quartz, 
as occurring at Kail’s Point, N. S. A beautiful hyaline quartz 
is found at Scott’s Bay, N. S. Sagenite (fleche d’amour, or 
Venus’ hair-stone) is reported by Dr. How as having been 
found at Scott’s Bay, N. S. 

Agates are found along the coast of Lake Superior in 
abundance and of considerable size and beauty. The finest are 


derived from the trap of Michipicotcn Island, Ont* They occur 
on St Ignace and Simpson's Islands, Ont, on the former only as 
nodules in the trap. Both chalcedony and agate occur as veins 
filling dislocations and cracks which penetrate the trap. In the 
Thunder Bay district they are associated with amethysts, occurring 
also as pebbles. Although these agates are often of rich color, 
and are beautifully veined, they are rarely over 2 inches across. 
Many are sold to tourists for ornaments, and a greater number 
could probably be disposed of if more attention were given to 
cutting and polishing them. As natural agates, their color is ex- 
ceptionally fine. Nearly all the large agates sold in this region 
are from abroad as well as of foreign coloring and cutting. Agate 
pebbles known as Gaspe Pebbles are found in the conglomerate 
of the Bonaventure formation, on the Bale des Chaleurs, Que., 
and along the shore of Lake Superior, in the vicinity of Goulars 
Bay, and especially on the St, Mary’s River, Handsome agate 
and chalcedony in nodules and veins are of frequent occurrence 
on the south shore of the Bay of Fundy, between Digby and 
Scott’s Bay, N* S* Large masses of agate have frequently been 
found on this coast, Gesner mentions a mass of 40 pounds 
weight, made up of curved layers of white, semi-transparent 
chalcedony and red carnelian, forming a fine sardonyx, A mass 
showing distinct parallel zones of cacholong, white chalcedony, 
and red carnelian, was found a few miles east of Cape Split, N. S. 
When polished it resembles an aggregation of circular eyes, and 
hence the name eye-stone, or eye-agate, is applied to it. At Scott’s 
Bay, N, S,, large surfaces of rocks are studded with these minerals. 
Specimens are also found at Blomidon and at Partridge Island, 
N, S, Fine agates and carnclians occur at Digby Neck, Wood- 
worth's Cove, and at Cape Blomidon, N. S, Agate, chalcedony, 
and carnelian are also found in New Brunswick, at Darling Lake, 
in Hampton, near the mouth of the Washdemoak River, in Dal- 
housie, and on the Tobique River, in Victoria County. A blue 
chalcedony, rich brownish-green by transmitted light, is men- 
tioned by How, from Cape Blomidon, N. S. Agate often occurs 
in layers, forming an onyx, in the Bay of Fundy and Lake 
Superior regions. Beautiful specimens are found at Two 
Islands, Cumberland County, near Cape Split, at Scott's Bay 



and at Parrsborough, N. S. In the Queen Charlotte Islands, 
B. C„, they occur abundantly at some localities, being derived 
from the miocene-tertiary rock. 

Beautiful moss agates are found at Two Islands, Cumber- 
land County, and near Cape Split, Partridge Island, also at 
Scott’s Bay, Kings County, N. S., where they are exceptionally 
fine. Chrysoprase of fair color has been found in the Hudson’s 
Bay district, on Belanger's Island. 

Silicified woods are found in the northwest Territories and 
in British Columbia. 

Jasper conglomerate exists in mountain masses, along with 
the quartzite masses of the Huronian series, for miles in the 
country north of the Bruce Mines, on Lake Superior north of 
Goular’s Bay, on the St. Mary’s River about four miles west of 
Campment d’Ours, on the cast shore of Lake George, and on 
Lake Huron, Ont. It is a rock consisting of a matrix of white 
quartzite, in which are pebbles, often several inches across, of a 
rich red, yellow, green, or black jasper, and smoky or other 
colored chalcedony, which form a remarkably striking contrast with 
the pure white matrix. It is susceptible of a high polish, and has 
been made into a great variety of ornamental objects. Some 
very beautiful mosaics have been produced by using the rock 
and included pebbles. It occurs in thick bands extending 
for miles, and in large boulders, scattered along the shores 
of the lakes and rivers. Within half a mile of the northern 
extremity of Goular’s Bay, Ont., is a ridge containing several 
varieties. Large quantities of rich, red jasper are found in Hull, 
Que. Yellow and red occur at Handley Mountains, Annapolis, 
Pictou, Gulliver’s Hope, Blomidon, N. S. ; at Belleisle Bay, 
Kings County, Grand Manan, Darling’s Lake, and Hampton, 
near the mouth of the Washdemoak River; at Red Head and at 
the Tobique River, Victoria County, N. B. ; at Woodworth’s 
Cove, west of Scott’s Bay, and all along the shore of the Bay of 
Fundy from Sandy Cove, N. S. Near the head of St. Mary’s 
Bay lie large blocks of red, yellow, and yellowish-red jasper, 
often banded, but generally impure. 

Heliotrope (bloodstone) in good specimens is of rare occur- 
rence in the North Mountain, Bay of Fundy, N. S. 



Dr. Gesner mentions finding two small nodules of opal, 
of a waxy color, at Partridge Island, N. S. Semi-opal has been 
found at Partridge Island in fine specimens, also at Grand Manan, 
N. B., and other localities in that vicinity. 

Cacholong has been found associated with chalcedony in 
Nova Scotia on the Bay of Fundy. The hornstone found at 
Partridge Island admits of a fine polish and is of some use as an 
ornamental stone. 

Jade (nephrite), in the form of archeological implements, 
has been found from the Straits of Fuca northward along the en- 
tire coast of British Columbia and the northern end of Alaska . 1 
At the latter place it is closely allied with other minerals, such as 
the new form of pectolite, and is found, with other relics of vari- 
ous kinds, about shell heaps and old village sites, in graves, or 
still preserved, although seldom used, by the natives. It is also 
found as far inland as the second mountain system of the Cordil- 
lera belts, represented by the Gold, Cariboo, and other ranges, 
principally among remains from Indian graves, and along the 
lower portions of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers, within the ter- 
ritory of the Selish people. It is less common in the interior of 
the province, which Dr. Dawson accounts for in part by the facts 
that adzes or adze-like tools had not been so much employed by 
the Indians of the interior and by those of the coast, who are 
pre-eminent as dextrous workers in wood and noted for the size 
and superior construction of their wooden houses and canoes ; 
and that, previous to the introduction of iron tools among the 
Eskimos and Indians, the use of jade must have been much more 
frequent, so much so as to preclude the theory of its having been 
obtained in trade from remote sources. The Indians of the west 
coast, although they value the jade, have for it no superstitious 
or sentimental feeling. The finding of two partly worked small 
boulders of jade on the lower part of the Frazer River, at Lytton 
and Yale, B.C., respectively, and the discovery of unfinished objects 
in old Indian graves near Lytton, make it certain that the man- 
ufacture of adzes had been actually carried on there. A series 
of specimens, numbering sixty-one in all, have been deposited in 

1 On the Occurrence of Jade in British Columbia, by Dr. George M, Dawson. Canadian 
Record of Science, VoL 2, No. 6 . April, 1SS7. 



the Museum of the Geological Survey of Canada at Ottawa and 
in the Peter Redpath Museum, McGill College, Montreal. These 
consist of both jade and pectolite articles, in the form of adzes, 
drill-points of borers, cut boulders, sockets for fire-drills, mallets, 
axes, pendants, and burnishers. Of the sixty-one objects found, 
seventeen show evidence more or less distinct of having been 
sawn from other pieces. Nordenskiold 1 describes figures and a 
broken harpoon-point of bone and nephrite, from Point Clarence, 
65° north latitude, north of Norton Sound. Dr. Dawson says : 
“ It is among the highly altered and decomposed rocks of 
the Carboniferous and Triassic that silicates of the jade class 
might be expected to occur, and I feel little doubt that when 
these rocks are carefully investigated they will be found to be 
the sources of the jade.” The Indians of the region, however, 
have usually, if not invariably, obtained their supply from loose 
fragments and boulders. Jade is also reported from the Rae 
River and from the Hudson Bay district. 

Axinite in fine crystals was reported by Dr. Bigsby from 
a boulder of primitive rock in Hawksbury, near Ottawa. 

Epidote is found in many localities, though not in gem form, 
except when with flesh-colored feldspar in the amygdaloid trap 
on Lake Superior. This has been polished to form an odd orna- 
mental stone. At the falls of the Mingam River, Que., and in 
Ramsay Township, Ont., is found a peculiar, fine-grained, reddish 
gneiss, traversed by veins of a pea-green epidote. It is very 
beautiful when polished. Pale-green epidote with quartz is found 
on the Matane River. The epidote which forms mountain 
masses in the Shickshock Mountains, Que., is hard, susceptible 
of a high polish, and would be of value as an ornamental stone. 

Amazonstone (microcline) has been found in Sebastopol, 
Ont., and in Hull, Que., in cleavages of good color. 

Labrador ite, the most beautiful of all the chatoyant feldspars, 
exists in great quantities on the coast of Labrador, especially at 
Nain, and on St. Paul’s Island adjacent to it, where the finest 
known occurs in veins of some size, where for over a century it 
has been mined for use in the arts. It occurs on Lake Huron, 
Ont., at Cape Mahul, and at Abercombie, Que., also in cleavages 

1 Voyage of the Vega* VoL 2 t i88z. 



several inches in diameter and of rich color, showing blue opales- 
cence, at Morin, Que. 

The beautiful variety of albite called peristerite, exhibiting a 
peculiar bluish chatoyancy or opalescence, is sometimes mingled 
with pale green and yellow, and called “moonstone.” It is found 
in crystals and in large cleavable masses, containing disseminated 
grains of quartz, in veins cutting the Laurentian strata at Bath- 
urst, Ont, on the north side of Stony Lake, near the mouth of 
Eel Creek ; in Burleigh, Ont., in crystals, in large, opalescent, 
cleavable masses of reddish albite, and north of Perth, Ont. It is 
also reported by Mr. G. Christian Hoffmann, of the Canadian 
Geological Survey, in specimens showing beautiful blue color, 
from Villeneuve, Ottawa County, Que. 

Perthite occurs in large cleavable masses in thick pegmatite 
veins, cutting the Laurentian strata, and is often made up of flesh- 
red and reddish-brown bands of orthoclase and albite, interlami- 
nated. When cut in certain directions, it shows beautiful golden 
reflections like aventurine, and being susceptible of a high polish, 
is adapted for an ornamental stone or for use in jewelry. It is 
also found in considerable quantity at Burgess, Ont., about seven 
miles southwest of the town of Perth, and likewise near Little 
Adams Lake. 

Sunstone, aventurine feldspar, has been described by Dr. 
Bigsby in the form of a largely crystallized flesh-red feldspar, 
constituting part of a granitic vein traversing gneiss, twenty miles 
east of the French River, on the northeast shore of Lake Huron, 
and occurs in fine specimens at Sebastopol, Ont. 

Obsidian has been found in British Columbia, but it has lit- 
tle value except for the cheaper jewelry, and even then is rarely 
used for such purposes. 

The porphyries lvhich cut the Laurentian limestones in the 
townships of Grenville and Chatham, Que., form a dike running 
east and west twenty feet in breadth. They have a dark-green 
or brownish-black base, homogeneous and compact, containing 
crystals of red orthoclase, and admitting of a high polish, which 
strongly recommends the material for ornamental use. 

The pegmatite at Montgomery’s Clearing on Allumette 
Lake, five miles above Pembroke, Ont., consisting of a brownish- 


red orthoclase with white quartz, is a beautiful ornamental stone, 
and admits of a good polish. 

Idocrase occurs in wax-yellow crystals imbedded in lime- 
stone, in Grenville, Que., in crystals of remarkable perfection 
and rich brown color ; in a white calcite, near Wakefield, Que. ; 
on Frye’s Island, N. B, ; and in large brown crystals at 
Calumet Falls, Que. Some of these would cut small gems, for 
which there is a slight demand to represent the initial I in 
sentimental jewelry. 

Pyrite is found in many localities, but nowhere in great per- 
fection. It was extensively cut and polished for ornaments a 
century ago, but has been largely superseded by the more 
recent introduction of steel jewelry. 

Hematite occurs, finely crystallized, at Cape Spencer, and 
exceptionally perfect and brilliant at Digby Neck, N. S., Sussex, 
Kings County, and Black River, St. John County, N. B. This 
fibrous form of red oxide of iron is extensively worked into 
jewelry in England and Germany ; but it has not been found of 
sufficient value in Canada to warrant working, as it can be cut so 
much more cheaply abroad. All the hematite jewelry of the Lake 
Superior region is believed to be foreign, not only in workman- 
ship, but in material. 

Although olivine, chrysolite, or peridot, is found in a num- 
ber of localities as a rock constituent, and often in the form of 
imperfect olive and amber-colored crystals, i an inch in diameter, at 
Mount Royal, Montarville, Mount Albert, and Rougemont, Que., 
it has not yet been observed of sufficient clearness and perfection 
to afford gems of any value. 

Theandalusite, found on Lake St. Francis, Que., in small, flesh- 
red prisms not exceeding T V inch in diameter, and also in black 
crystals and the variety known as chiastolite, made, or cross 
stone, is sold abroad for use in jewelry. It also occurs at Guys- 
borough, N, S., in fair macles. 

Of the deep chrome-green pyroxene found at Orford, Que., 
many fine crystals have been found. Occasionally they are 
transparent and would afford gems. The lilac-colored variety 
from Grenville, Que., does not admit of a fine polish. 

Staurolite has been found at several localities in Nova Scotia,. 


more especially at Guysborough. This mineral, when in perfect 
crosses, finds some sale in Switzerland for charms. 

Diopside is found as a rock-constituent in many localities in 
the Laurentian area. At Calumet Falls, Que., it occurs in crys- 
tals 6 inches long, though not of gem value. 

Scapolite or wernerite occurs in large cleavable masses in a 
limestone at Grenville, Que., and Bathurst, Ont. When free 
from the lilac-colored crystals of pyroxene with which it is asso- 
ciated, it admits of a good polish, but is of little value, if any, 
in the arts. 

Ilvaite has been found in a boulder about a foot in diameter in 
the vicinity of Ottawa, Ont., and is believed to form a bed in the 
Laurentian series. It has little value as a gem, but is occasionally 
used for the letter I in sentimental jewelry. 

Sodalite in fine blue grains has been found in the granite of 
Brome, Que., in seams at Montreal, Oue., and in veins several 
inches wide on the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, at 
Kicking Horse Pass, B. C., by Dr. B. J. Harrington. It is 
occasionally used in the arts. 

Lazulite is reported from the Hudson Bay district, but of 
little gem value even when of fine color. 

Prchnite is associated with native copper and calcite in the 
Lake Superior region, where it is often of a rich green color, in 
spherical masses of crystals an inch across, or in aggregations even 
larger, affording a curious green stone resembling a chrysoprase. 
Fine specimens occur at Clifton, Clark’s Head, and Black Rock, 
Kings County, N. S. 

The titanites of Canada have a world-wide reputation, not 
only for their color, their polish, and the perfection of the crys- 
tals, but also for their great size. A twin crystal of this mineral 
has been found on Turner’s Island, in Lake Clear, weighing 80 
pounds. They occur abundantly in this region, associated with 
apatite. The crystals are generally of such deep brown color as 
to appear black. It is rare that even a small transparent 
gem could be cut from them; as crystals, however, they are 
unexcelled, and many thousand dollars’ worth have been sold as 
specimens. The finest are found in Renfrew County, especially 
in Sebastopol and Brudenell Townships, Ont. 



Zonochlorite, said by Hawes to be a chemically impure vari- 
ety of prehnite, is yet distinctive enough as a gem-stone to entitle 
it to its name. It occurs in small rolled masses, and in the rock, 
at Nipigon Bay, Ont., and was described by Prof. A. E. Foote. 
It is a dark, opaque, green stone, beautifully marked and veined, 
and admitting of a high polish. 

Thomsonite of a red color, compact and fibrous, often 
banded with green in a number of concentric rings, is found on 
the northern shore of Lake Superior, Ont., and at Cape Split, 
N. S. The pebbles vary in size from {- inch up to an inch across, 
and are quite extensively sold on all sides of the lake as an orna- 
mental stone. The green which Peckham and Hall (seep. 181) 
described as lintonite, an uncrystalline green variety of thomson- 
ite, often forms the center or band, making an effective gem- 
stone, and is sold for that purpose. 

The ilmenite in the parish of St. Urbain, at Baie St, Paul, 
sometimes contains grains of a greenish triclinic feldspar, and 
would furnish an ornamental stone similar to the porphyritic 
menaccanite found at Cumberland, R. I. It also contains rutile 
crystals, too small to have value as gems, though adding to the 
beauty of the material when polished. 

Natrolite is found in stout crystals with other zeolites at Pe- 
ter’s Point and other localities on the Bay of Fundy, and at 
Swan’s Creek, Cape Blomidon, and Partridge Island, N. S. 
When transparent and of sufficient size, it is occasionally used as 
a gem to represent the initial N in sentimental jewelry. 

Apophyllite is often found along the coast of Nova Scotia, 
on the Bay of Fundy, principally at Cape d’Or, Haute Island, 
Partridge Island, and Swan’s Creek just above Cape Blomidon, 
in magnificent crystals sometimes an inch or more across. It oc- 
casionally occurs on agate and amethyst in the trap rock, and 
would afford a mineralogical gem, as its pearly lustre produces 
a curious effect, like that of a fish’s eye ; hence the name ichthy- 
ophthalmite, or fish-eye stone. The color is generally white, but 
occasionally the crystals have a rich green tinge. 

Hoffmann has described a part of a crystal of monazite, 
weighing 14 pounds, from Villeneuve, Ottawa County, making 
this one of the most remarkable occurrences known. If trans- 



parent, it would afford a hyacinth-yellow gem, rather low in 

Apatite, which has added so much to the mining industry 
of the Dominion, is found there in greater quantity and in finer 
crystals than in any other country 7 . The crystals are often of great 
size and perfection, one famous crystal from the Emerald Mine, at 
Buckingham, Que., weighing 550 pounds. Magnificent crystals 
are found throughout eastern Ontario, on the shores of Lake 
Clear, several feet in length and of fine color ; at Sebastopol and 
elsewhere throughout Renfrew County ; and at Wakefield, Tem- 
pleton, Portland, and Buckingham Townships, Ottawa County, 
Oue. The crystals are often partly transparent, and are of all 
shades of red-brown, brick-red, and often rich, deep green, espe- 
cially in Ottawa County, in which case they should be adapted 
to some of the uses of fluorite as ornamental stones. 

Wilsonite is found in Bathurst and Burgess, Ont., and Ot- 
tawa County, Que., in masses of some size, associated with sca- 
polite. The specimens are beautiful, the minerals often passing 
into each other. The rich, purplish-red color of this mineral, 
and the fact that it admits of a good polish, make it one of the 
most interesting of gem minerals. 

Fluorite is occasionally found in purple crystals measuring 
several inches on a face, associated with and on the Lake Supe- 
rior amethyst. Green and purple fiuor often fills mineral veins in 
the Lake Superior region, and veins in syenite opposite Pic 
Island, on the mainland. On an island near Gravelly Point, in a 
porphyry, it occurs in green octahedral crystals, with barite; in 
green cubes associated with calcite and quartz at Prince’s Mine, 
Ont.; and in small, beautiful crystals near Hull, Que. Fluor 
spar of a beautiful blue color is found at Plaster Cove, Richmond 
County, N. S., and also on the west side of the harbor of Great 
St. Lawrence, Newfoundland. Small purple crystals of great 
beauty are occasionally found on pearl-spar in the geodes at Ni- 
agara Falls, Ont., and elsewhere in the Niagara formation. A 
green, compact variety occurs in white calcite associated with 
galena, in veins cutting the Potsdam sandstone, at Baie St. Paul 
and Murray Bay, Que., which would work into an ornamental 
stone. It is found frequently all through the Laurentian 


rocks. It is rarely cut into mineralogical gems, but when com- 
pact, of good color, or beautifully veined, it is worked into vases, 
cups, and other ornamental objects, known as Blue John, Derby- 
shire Spar, and similar names. 

Malachite of gem value lias not been found to any extent in 
Canada, although the species occurs in nearly every local- 
ity where copper and its ores are obtained. It has also been ob- 
served at Sutton, One. 

The agalmatolite found in Canada is not of such quality as 
to fit it for the uses of the Chinese fiori re-stone. 

Jet is found at Pictou, Pictou County, N. S., in fine 
pieces. It has been very generally superseded in jewelry by 
black onyx, and the little now used is mined at Whitby, Eng., 
owing to the superior hardness of that found there, and the 
perfect facilities for working it. 

What Canada has produced in precious and ornamental 
stones was well shown at the Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, 
1876, and at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition at London, in 
1886. The fine minerals have found their way into the well- 
arranged collection of the Geological Survey of Canada at 
Ottawa, the British Museum, the mineralogical collection of 
McGill College, which contains the cabinet of John G. Miller, 
and the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia. Many of the finest 
specimens, in full series, grace the cabinets of Clarence S. 
Bement, at Philadelphia, King’s College, at Windsor, N. S., the 
School of Mines, New York (which contains the collection of Dr. 
Henry How), Walter G, Perrier, Montreal, W. J. Wilcox (de- 
posited at the Wagner Institute, Philadelphia), Amherst Col- 
lege, at Amherst, Mass., Prof. Othniel C. Marsh, New Haven, 
Conn., and the New York State Museum, at Albany, N. Y. 

Further reference to this subject can be found in the follow- 
ing works : “ Remarks on the Mineralogy and Geology of the 
Peninsula of Nova Scotia,” by Charles T. Jackson and Francis 
Alger (Cambridge, 1832); “Geology and Mineralogy of Nova 
Scotia,” by Abraham Gesner (Halifax, 1836); “Catalogue of the 
Mineral Localities of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and New- 
foundland,” Am. J. Sci. If., Vol. 35, 1863; “Mineralogy of Nova 
Scotia, ”by Henry How (Halifax, N. S., 1868); “ Geology of Can- 



ada : Report of the Geological Survey from its Commencement to 
1863 ” (Montreal, 1863), XXVII., 983 ; “ The Mineral Resources 
of the Dominion of Canada” (Ottawa) ; “ Descriptive Catalogue 
of a Collection of Economic Minerals of Canada at the Philadel- 
phia International Exhibition” (Montreal, 1876); “ The Woods 
and Minerals of New Brunswick at the Centennial Exhibition 
at Philadelphia,” by L, W. Bailey and Edward Jack (Fredericton, 
N. B., 1876); “Dana’s Mineralogy” (New York, 1875); 

“ Descriptive Catalogue of a Collection of the Economic Minerals 
of Canada at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886,” 
by the Geological Corps, Alfred R. C. Selwyn, Director (Lon- 
don, 1886); Mineral Wealth of British Columbia, Dr, George 
W. Dawson (Ottawa, 1889) ; Mineral Statistics of Canada, 1887, 
Eugene Coste (Ottawa, Canada), 


In Mexico and Central America. 

O UR knowledge regarding the precious and ornamen- 
tal stones of Mexico and Central America is very 
meagre, especially when one considers the extent of 
the territory and the richness of the mineral wealth 
that undoubtedly exists there. The fullest information on these 
subjects is furnished by Santiago Ramirez, 1 from whose book 
we shall have occasion to take many extracts in the sequel. 
We have his statement that the diamond has been found in 
Mexico, but the description is altogether too unsatisfactory 
to establish it positively. The story he gives, on the author- 
ity of Seflor Del Moral, 1 is this : General Guerrero, while 

searching with a few soldiers for a suitable camping-ground, found 
what appeared to be large pebbles, some of which, on being 
broken open, proved to be hollow geodes, and to contain loose, 
brilliant crystals. Two of these, which had been given by the 
General to a lady friend, and had been mounted as ear-rings, 
were, about the latter part of 1822, shown by her to Professor Del 
Rio, who is said to have pronounced them diamonds, octahedral 
in form, and of a quality not inferior to any from India or Brazil. 
Seflor Guillow, a lapidary of the City of Mexico, is said by the 
same author to have bought a number of these diamonds that to- 

1 Notitia Historic de la Minerca de Mexico (Mexico, 1S84-1SS5), pp. 237-250, 
s La Naturaleza, VoL 2 y pp. 257-302, 1873. 



gether in their rough state weighed 18 carats. The largest of 
these, which weighed 3 carats, he presented to the Mining Col* 
lege Museum* Another crystal, that weighed 2 carats, General 
Guerrero kept for himself. As this is the only reference to the 
finding of diamonds in that country, it is to be regretted that 
nothing further is known regarding it* It is, however, highly 
probable that if, as is represented, the crystals were found in 
goedes, they were not diamonds, but quartz crystals. 

Sapphire and ruby of value as precious stones have never 
been reported from Mexico, but among a number of rolled peb- 
bles of jasper, agate, and chalcedony, that were found near San 
Geronimo, Oaxaca, Mexico, near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, 
and brought to the writer by Dr* Knight Neftel, of New York, 
for examination as to their gem value, a rolled pebble of sap- 
phire was found* In color it was mottled blue and yellowish-white* 
It was slightly fissured, and translucent, and did not show crystal- 
line form, although the rolling seemed to have brought out the 
cleavage more distinctly, and this reflected a fine pearly lustre. 
It weighed ig'223 grams and had a specific gravity of 3-9. This 
is low, but may be due to the impurities in the vein mg. From 
this single pebble, it would be impossible to decide whether gems 
occur in that region, but further investigation will determine this* 
It is not improbable that corundum may exist there in quantities 
large enough to be of commercial value. And since it is in this 
very State that so many jadeite objects with aboriginal carvings 
have been found, it may be that sapphire, perhaps from the 
same locality, was used in the slitting, drilling, and cutting of 
them. Ruby is said to occur in Durango, and also in Secorn, 
near the Falls of California ; but whether the stone so reported is 
ruby or only garnet, it has been impossible definitely to determine* 
Emerald is found according to FX Ignacio Alcocer, member of 
the Scientific Commission of Mexico, in the vicinity of Tulan- 
cingo in the State of Hidalgo* No statement is made as to the 
quality, and the name may have been applied to common beryl, 
which has been reported from the State of Hidalgo, Tajupilco, 
and on the hill of Cerro Gordo in Guanajuato* 

Fine pyrope garnets, similar to those found in Arizona and 
New Mexico, are found in Chihuahua, especially near Lakejaco* 



These are often gathered by the Comanche Indians. Pyrope 
garnet is also reported from the State of Sonora. At Trumfo, 
Lower California, beautiful garnets, in crystals of & to £ inch in 
diameter, are said to occur in a white rock. These are probably 
not of value. A. B. Damour describes essonite, with a specific 
gravity of 3*57, in light-red dodecahedral crystals in a granular 
limestone, from Rancho de San Juan. 

Iolite or dichroite is reported as associated with beryl in 
Tajupilco, in the State of Hidalgo, and it is said to occur on the 
hill of Ccrro Gordo in Guanajuato. 

The name 11 jade ” is popularly applied to several distinct orna- 
mental stones, but since A. B. Damour’s investigations into the 
character of jade, jadeite, and chlormelanite, the term has been 
restricted mineralogically to what is specifically known as nephrite. 
Many bric-a-brac dealers never distinguish between jade and 
jadeite, calling both simply jade. 

The word “jade” is evidently a corruption of the Spanish 
“ ijada,” since the mineral is first mentioned under this name in 
the writings of Monardas in 1565, and w r as brought from Mexico 
and Peru under the name “ Piedra de ijada,” or “ Stone of the 
Loins,” in allusion to its supposed curative properties in diseases 
of the loins and kidneys. Amulets of jade-like minerals have al- 
ways been highly venerated by the natives throughout Central 
America, Mexico, and Peru. 

jade, or nephrite, is a silicate of calcium and magnesium. It 
has a specific gravity varying from 27 to 2*9, a hardness of 67, and 
is extremely tough, more so than jadeite. It maybe described as 
a cryptocrystalline variety of hornblende, exhibiting no crystalline 
form or cleavage, with a splintery fracture, like horn. The color 
is generally uniform, commonly either white or green, occasion- 
ally yellow or brown, very rarely with a bluish or pink tint. 
Jadeite is a silicate of aluminum and sodium. Its specific gravity 
ranges from 3 ’25 to 375, and it has a hardness of 7. It has a 
crystalline structure, is not as tough as jade, and its composition 
places it nearer to epidote than to hornblende. Its lustre is more 
brilliant than that of jade. It is generally white, occasionally green- 
ish, with veins or spots of almost emerald-green color, also let- 
tuce-green and sage-green. In 1865, Damour, who originally 

Si i 




described jadeite, also described chlormelanite, another substance 
resembling jade. This material contains a larger percentage of 
iron than jadeite, and its specific gravity is higher, ranging from 
3'4 to 3 ’65. The color is generally blackish green, spinach or sage 
green, marked with patches of lighter shades. It is found en- 
closing garnet with iron pyrite. 

Prof. Heinrich Fischer of Freiburg, Baden, devoted his entire 
life to the study of the literature, archaeology, and examination of 
jade, jadeite, chlormelanite, and allied minerals. The results of 
this study were published in his “ Nephrit und Jadeit” (Stuttgart, 
1875), in which he shows that these and other green stones have 
been called by 1 50 different names, which he gives, as well as a 
chronologically arranged table of the literature on the subject 
from the earliest time to his death. The United States Na- 
tional Museum has a large and fine series of jadeite objects from 
Mexico, nearly all of which are from the State of Oaxaca. 
The Museum is also well supplied with jadeite objects from Cen- 
tral America, only a few of which are from Nicaragua and 
Guatemala. The finest are from Costa Rica. With these jade- 
ltes are many articles of softer green stones, and occasionally an 
object of quartz or chalcedony. 1 

Among the more remarkable jadeite objects of Mexican ori- 
gin is an adze described by the author, believed to be the 
largest yet found. On its face is figured a grotesque human fig- 
ure, and for so hard a material, the workmanship is excellent. It 
is said to have been found about twenty years ago in Oaxaca, 
Mexico. It measures 272 millimeters (10-B- inches) in length, 
153 millimeters (6 inches) in width, and 1 1 8 millimeters (4I- inches) 
in thickness, and weighs 229’3 Troy ounces. Across the ears 153 
millimeters (6 inches), across the lower axe end 82 millimeters (31- 
inches), height of head to neck 1 58 millimeters (61 inches), height 
from chin to foot 1 1 5 millimeters (4I inches), and the legs 50 milli- 
meters (2 inches). From the back a piece about 160 millimeters ( 61 - 
inches) long and 50 millimeters (2 inches) wide has been removed. 
The color is light grayish-green with a tinge of blue, and streaks 
of an almost emerald-green on the back. In style of ornamenta- 

1 Oil Nephrite and Jadeite by Prof, Frank W* Clarke and George P, Merrill. Proceedings of 
the United States National Museum (iBSS), Vol. n s p. 1 1 5, et seq. 


tion it very closely resembles a gigantic adze of granite, 57 centi- 
meters long and 34 centimeters wide, mentioned by A. Cha- 
vero, 1 and it has almost a counterpart in the green aventu- 
rine quartz adze now forming part of the Christy Collec- 
tion at the British Museum, and formerly in the possession 
of Percy Doyle of the British Diplomatic Service, differing 
from these two objects, however, in having no ornamenta- 
tion on the forehead, and in having four dull markings on each 
ear, one under each eye, and one near each hand, which seem- 
ingly could have served no other purpose than to hold thin plates 
or films of gold, which the polished surfaces would not do. If 
this was so, no trace of the gold can now be seen. From all ap- 
pearances, this adze was shaped from a boulder, since weathered 
surfaces, such as appear on all sides of it, would be found only on 
an exposed fragment. The lapidarian work on this piece is 
probably equal to anything that has been found, and the polish 
is as fine as that of modern times. One point of interest, which 
should not be lost sight of, is the removal of a portion which 
has weighed fully two pounds. Why was this? Similar remov- 
als and divisions have been mentioned. On April 27, 1881, in a 
paper read before the American Antiquarian Society, Philip J. j. 
Valentini described two carved jadeites which showed similar 
treatment. One was the Humboldt celt, a votive adze presented 
to Humboldt by Del Rio in 1803, and the other, the so-called 
Leyden plate, which was found by S. A. von Braam near St. 
Felipe, in Honduras, near the borders of Guatemala, and given 
by him to the Leyden Museum. Both of these objects are 
9 inches in length and 3^ inches in breadth, the former having a 
thickness of if inches and the latter f of an inch. From the 
fact that the two, if placed together, face to face, have exactly the 
same outline, it is highly probable that they were originally part 
of one and the same celt, and it is quite possible the remaining 
parts may yet be found. Ini 886, Professor Frederick W. Putnam 
exhibited before the same Society a remarkable series of Nica- 
raguan and Costa Rican jadeites, which were all ornaments, and 
showed that they had been made by cutting celts which had been 
perforated by one or two drilled holes, into halves, thirds, and 

1 Mexico k traves de Los Siglos, Mexico, 1886, p. 64, 

28 o 


quarters, in one instance, two of them fitting together. The ex- 
planation offered is, that the supply of the material having be- 
come exhausted, recourse was had to division, or a removal 
of a part from existing objects, evidently for the purpose of mak- 
ing others, perhaps to be buried with some dead chief, or to be be- 
stowed on new branches of the tribe, an object held sacred. 
Fully one-eighth was removed from the back of this adze, and 
the manner in which the instrument used in the removal was held 
has produced a rounded cut on each side, lending probability to 
the supposition that some abrasive was employed, drawn with a 
string held in the hands, or stretched across a bow. If the 
Aztecs knew of the existence of this sapphire, we can more read- 
ily understand how they worked so large a mass of tough and 
hard material. So far as the writer has been able to ascertain, 
no similar object of equal magnitude and archaeological interest 
exists. Neither the Humboldt celt, the Leyden plate, the Vienna 
adze, nor the one in the Ethnological Museum at Dresden, which 
weighs only seven pounds, and is entirely devoid of orna- 
mentation, can compare with it. 

A jadeite breastplate was obtained in 1884, by a German en- 
gineer, from a tomb near Santa Lucia, Cotzulmaguapa, where Dr. 
Behrendt had made some extensive excavations and obtained 
a quantity of large engraved stones and other antiquities from 
the old temples and tombs of the ancient kings of Quiche, which 
exist in that neighborhood. It is 16 centimeters (6i inches) wide, 
about 1 2 centimeters (5 inches) high, 1 centimeter (f inch) thick. 
The color round the edges is a grayish-green, while on the out- 
side, at the center, it is a light rusty brown, perhaps from burn- 
ing. By transmitted light, the color is a light apple-green. It 
has been drilled at two places on the back edges with holes 
4 millimeters (| inch) in width, and has been sliced or cut from 
some boulder, as the back edges show. At one place, there are 
evidences of an attempt to slit it. According to Dr. Valentini, 
the cutting represents a human face or mask, or rather the head- 
gear of a man, representing the symbol Achau, meaning 
“ Ross ’’ or “ Lord the head of the tribe (one of the most com- 
mon motives of the Maya, which is found at least a thousand 
times drawn and colored in the Maya codices) forming the walls 


and friezes of their structures. Achau is also the name of the 
nineteenth day of the Maya month. Each of the eyes is repre- 
sented by a circle with two flattened sides. Below these is a 
beard or tattooing. A circle with a central dot represents a 
mouth, and the nose is an oblong between the eyes, extending 
below the tattooing. From the ears, which are quite natural, arc 
suspended feather pendants. Feathers also cover the top of the 
head, and probably ornament the chin as well. 

In 1879 Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith exhibited an interesting 
jadeite mask, having a specific gravity of 3*3 at the Saratoga 

meeting of the American Associa- 
tion. 1 It represented a crying 
baby-face (see Fig. 13.) and is 
almost identical with one made 
of quartzite in the Peabody 
Museum of Archaeology at Cam- 
bridge, Mass. 

The Codex Mendoza, a copy 
of the tribute-roll of the ancient 
Mexican Empire published in 
Lord Kingsborough’s “Antiqui- 
ties of Mexico” (London, 1830), 
defines the tax from each district, 
naming the cities. Strings of 
chalchihuitl are mentioned as part of 
the tribute from a number of localities, and refer evidently to 
small rounded pieces used as beads, and obtained from the sands 
of streams. Only from one district were large pieces of chalchihuitl 
demanded. These, three in number each year, were required 
from Totoltepec, Chinantlan, and other towns situated in the pres- 
ent State of Oaxaca, and principally in the department of Valalta 
(Zoochila). Milhlenpfordt describes this region as mountainous 
and wild, inhabited by the Mixe Indians and the Chinantecas.' 

Dr. Daniel G. Brinton suggests that in Valalta (Zoochila), 
in the State of Oaxaca, if jadeite exists in Mexico, it may be 
found in large pieces, and that this is the locality which the explorer 

3 Proc, Am. Asso* Adv. Sci,, 1879, Vol. 2S, p. 523. 

£ Schildcruiig der Republik Mcjico t Vol* 2, p. 213, 

no, 13. 




should penetrate if he would discover the locality of the large 
pieces of Mexican jadeite 1 or perhaps the mineral in situ. 

Bernardino de Sahagun 3 gives the following description of 
chalchihuitl : 

The nahuatl (Mexican) name for jadeite is chalchihuitl. This 
appears to have been applied to any greenish, partially transpar- 
ent stone capable of receiving a handsome polish. All such were 
highly esteemed. Specific distinctions were established between 
such precious minerals by descriptive adjectives, as follows : 

Iztac chalchihuitl, white chalchihuitl ; of a fine green, quite 
transparent, without stripes or stains. 

Quetzal chalchihuitl, precious chalchihuitl ; white, much trans- 
parency, with a slight greenish tinge, somewhat like jasper. 

Tlilayotic, literally “of a blackish watery color”; with min- 
gled shades of green and black, partially transparent. 

Tolteca-iztli, literally “Toltec knife” or “Toltec obsidian ” ; 
of a clear, translucent green, and very beautiful. 

It is very evident that this is the so-called Mexican onyx, or 
Tecali marble or onyx, which exists in Tecali in veins, and is in 
reality an aragonite stalagmite. Great quantities of it were made 
into Mexican figures, ornaments, and beads, which are found all 
the way from northern Mexico down to Oaxaca. This so-called 
onyx is extensively quarried to this day, forming one of our rich- 
est ornamental stones. (See Mexican Onyx.) 

Quetzal chalchihuitl is precious chalchihuitl, white, with much 
transparency, and with a slight greenish tinge, something like jas- 
per. Various green stones exist at present, and were used in 
considerable abundance in ancient Mexico. Among eight green 
stone objects, sent to the writer at one time as jadeite, four 
were jadeite, one was laminated serpentine, another a greenish 
quartz, and two a mixture of white feldspar and green horn- 
blende. In a string of beads were four pieces of jadeite ; but 
all the others were, as are the jadeite beads, in the form of 
rounded pebbles, drilled from both sides, and there were nearly a 
dozen different substances in this string. The question is, are these 
pebbles a part of the tribute mentioned in the Codex Mendoza ? 

1 Science, VoL 12, p. 168, Oct. 5, 1SS8. 
s Historic de la Nueva Espana, Book iij chap- 8. 


If so, they must have existed in some abundance; and they 
have not been reworked from other objects, as are the larger 
pieces, like the Costa Rican celts. Can it be that the large pieces 
came from lower Mexico, and, after use as implements, were 
bartered, but being green stones, w r hich have been given prefer- 
ence the world over by savages and barbarians, and here were 
considered precious, were made into votive objects? Among 
other green stones used by the ancient Mexicans were green 
jasper, green plasma, serpentine, a fine-graded green shale and 
the Teeali marble, which was often of such a rich green color 
that at a glance it might be mistaken for jadeite. 

Dr. Heinrich Fischer, who gave much time to the study of 
this subject, endeavored to prove that the jadeite objects found 
in Mexico and Central America were of Asiatic origin and were 
brought to this continent by migration. The facts above men- 
tioned, in connection with the slicing and division of the adze 
and other objects, implying a scarcity of the material, and the 
further fact that Burmese jadeite, W'hen green, if exposed to a high 
temperature, assumes the brownish-green color presented by 
some of the Mexican objects when subjected to the same pro- 
cess, all tend to support Dr. Fischer’s theory. On the other hand 
Dr. A. B. Meyer, Director of the Ethnological Museum at 
Dresden, and others, firmly believe in the indigenous character 
of this material. In support of this the following reasons are 
advanced : First, large objects such as celts, entirely devoid of 
ornamentation, are occasionally found. Second, that objects 
sliced from celts and axes have been found which were subse- 
quently carved and ornamented, as if the beauty and durability of 
the material had been recognized. Third, that in strings of beads 
one or more made of jadeite, not forming a central ornament, 
or put in such a part of the string as to show that they were con- 
sidered of more importance than the others, but apparently 
selected for their size, have been found. Fourth, it is also probable 
that the Mexicans never knew of the existence of the true veins 
of this mineral, these veins, perhaps, occurring on the summits of 
some of the higher mountains and the material used by the na- 
tives being found in the form of boulders and fragments in the 
valley below, where it had been transported by the mountain 


streams. Fifth, the fact that jade has been found elsewhere on 
the continent although jadeite has not. In 1884, among a quan- 
tity of things sent to the National Museum from Point Barrow, 
were some hammer-heads, supposed to be jade, but, on analysis by 
Prof. Frank W. Clarke, found to be a new compact variety of pecto- 
lite, 1 with a specific gravity of 2*873. (See Pectolite.) Some early 
writers have attributed Alaskan nephrite to Siberian sources, but 
four or five years ago it was determined to be of native origin. 
The native reports assigned as its source a place known as Jade 
Mountain, about 150 miles above the mouth of the Kowak River, 
and after several attempts the spot was visited by Lieut. G. M. 
Stoney, U. S. N., who collected a scries of specimens. The mate- 
rial was of a grayish-green color and splintery lamellar struct- 
ure, one variety being more granular, brownish in color, and 
highly foliated in form. Sixth, according to Bernardino de 
Sahagun, all the green stones of the Aztecs were simply varieties 
of the chalchihuitl, and it is not improbable, as has been supposed 
by some, that jadeite, like turquoise, was one of the varieties of 
chalchihuitl, and perhaps the most prized. This theory has been 
greatly strengthened during the last ten years, and especially since 
Professor Frederick W. Putnam exhibited his remarkable series 
of Nicaraguan and Costa Rican jadeites before the American 
Antiquarian Society, in April, 1886. 

Professor Clarke and George P. Merrill concluded their 
examination of the Jade Collection in the United States National 
Museum with the suggestions : Confirmation of the theory that 
the widely scattered jadeite and nephrite objects were derived 
from many independent sources, and are of no value whatever in 
the work of tracing the migration and intercommunication of 
races, lies in the fact that these substances are comparatively 
common constituents of matamorphic rocks, and hence liable to 
be found wherever these rocks occur, so that their presence is as 
meaningless as would be the presence of a piece of graphite. 
The natives required a hard, tough substance, capable of receiv- 
ing and retaining a sharp edge and a polish, and took it wherever 
it was to be found. 

Rock crystal has not, in our time at least, been discovered, 

1 Am. J. Sci. III., Vol. 28, p. 20, Jan., 1884. 



in Mexico or Central America, of a quality or in sufficient 
quantity to be of much use in the arts, yet there have been found 
a number of interesting prehistoric objects made of rock crystal, 
— -skulls from 1 inch to 7 inches in width, crescents, beads, and 
other articles, — of which the material is excellent, and the work- 
manship equal to anything done by the early lapidaries* Small 
skulls are in the Blake Collection at the United States National 
Museum, the Douglas Collection, New York, the British Museum, 
and the Trocadero Museum. (See Fig. 14.) A large skull, now in 

FIG. 14. 


TfcOCAtt£iftO MUSEUM. 

the possession of George H. Sisson of New York, is very remark- 
able. Itweighs 475! Troy ounces, and measures 210 millimeters or 
1 8A inches in length, 1 36 millimeters or 15! inches in width, and 148 
centimeters or 1 5fJ- inches in height. The eyes are deep hollows ; 
the line separating the upper from the lower row of teeth has evi- 
dently been produced by a wheel made to revolve by a string held 
in the hand, or possibly by a string stretched across a bow, and 
is very characteristic of Mexican work. Little is known of 
its history and nothing of its origin. It was brought from Mex- 
ico by a Spanish officer sometime before the French occupation 



of Mexico, and was sold to an English collector, at whose death 
it passed into the hands of E. Boban, of Paris, and then became 
the property of Mr. Sisson. That such large worked objects of 
rock crystal are not found in Mexico might lead one to infer its 
possible Chinese or Japanese origin. But it is evident that the 
workmanship of the skull is not Chinese or Japanese, or nature 
would have been more closely copied ; and if the work were of 

European origin, it would undoubtedly have been more carefully 
finished in some minor details. Prof. Edward S. Morse of 
Salem, Mass., who resided in Japan for several years, and Tatui 
Baba of Japan, now of New York City, state positively that this 
skull is not of Japanese origin. Mr. Baba gives as one reason 
for his belief that the Japanese 
would never cut such an object as 
a skull from so precious a material. 

In ancient Mexico there was un- 
doubtedly a veneration for skulls, 
for we find not only small skulls of 
rock crystal, but real skulls, notably 
the one in the Christy Collection in 
the British Museum, incrustcd with 
turquoise, and it may have been one 
of these that suggested the making 
of this skull, the one at the Troca- 

PIG, 15. 


dero Museum, and the smaller one. 

Two very interesting crescents are 
known, the one in the Trocadero Museum (see Fig. 15), the 
other in the collection of Dr. Maxwell Sommerville, in the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Beads of this 
material are sometimes found in the tombs with jadeite and 
other stone beads. They rarely have a diameter of an inch. 

Rock crystal in large masses has been reported from near 
Pachuca, Hidalgo, in the State of Michoacan, and in veins 
near La Paz in Lower California ; the center of the vein is said 
to be beautifully pellucid, but the sides are opaque white. It is 
not known whether the rock crystal used by the aborigines was 
obtained at a Mexican locality, or whether it came from Cala- 
veras County, Cal., where masses of rock crystal are found con- 


taming vermicular prochlorite inclusions identical with those 
observed in the large skull described above. 

The amethysts of Guanajuato, which have a world-wide repu- 
tation, are found in large quantities, associated with pink and white 
apophyllite, and ranging in color from the most delicate pink to the 
deepest red. The crystals are frequently light in color at the 
base, but very much darker at the terminations. Groups a foot 
across, not good enough to cut gems, are frequently found ; it is 
certain that fine amethysts were formerly found at some locality 
in Mexico, since the collections contain fine objects made by the 
Aztecs, but not at all resembling the Guanajuato mineral either 
in color or structure. 

Chalcedony, agate, jasper, and the other varieties of quartz un- 
doubtedly exist in abundance at many places in Mexico and Cen- 
tral America, judging from the numbers of objects, such as beads, 
figures, and ornaments, in the collections. Some finely carved 
agate figures six inches in length are in the Blake Collection in 
the United States National Museum, and similar objects exist in 
the collections of other museums. 

The opal,' in all its varieties, is found in Mexico and Cen- 
tral America, the noble opal occurring more frequently in Cen- 
tral America than in Mexico. The opal consists principally of 
silica, differing from quartz, however, in not being crystalline, and 
in containing from 9 to 12 parts of water in 100. The specific 
gravity of quartz is 2 '65, of opal about 2 '2. Quartz has a hardness 
of 7, and opal of only 6 and even as low as 5 '5. 

Noble opal is the harder variety, in which the color is uni- 
formly distributed, and ranges from opaque white to almost the 
pellucidness of glass. Fire opal or girasol is the variety showing 
flashes of red and yellow, green, and other colors, the opal itself 
ranging from colorless to white, transparent yellow, reddish-brown 
to almost opaque, and is usually less hard than the noble opal. 
The name lechosos is applied by the Mexicans to the variety 
showing deep-green flashes of color. The name Harlequin is 

1 Whatever may be the origin of the widespread notion of the unluckiness of opal, it is certain 
that opal was the favorite gem of the Romans, even in their palmiest days. Since it has become 
known that Queen Victoria is partial to it, the old superstition, which it is said may be traced 
to Sir Walter Scott 1 s Anne of Geierstein, is slowly yielding, and the gem has gained much public 
favor during the last ten years. 



applied to the variety in which the patches of color are small, 
angular, variously tinted, but evenly distributed. Common opal, 
so-called, exhibits no play of color. This variety is found of 
many hues, chiefly, however, milky, rose-colored (when it is 
called quinzite), and green. 

Hyalite, Muller’s glass, is the name applied to a colorless, 
transparent, jelly-like variety, usually occurring in botryoidal 
masses. Moss opal is the name applied when the variety con- 
tains dendritic marking ; semi-opal when impure ; opal agate and 
opal jasper when a mixture of either agate and opal or jasper and 
opal ; opalized wood, when replacing wood ; and hydrophane when 
it is transparent, or exhibits play of colors on being wet. 

The noble opals of Honduras are often exceedingly beauti- 
ful, although not as fine or as durable as those from Hungary, 
which are the finest in the world, and the most valuable. The 
Honduras mines are little worked, and the opals only seldom 
reach the market and generally in an uncut state. A remark- 
able specimen of these weighed over a pound, and when cut 
furnished a quantity of fine stones, some of the finest of which 
are in the collection of Dr. A. C. Hamlin. 

The best description of the Honduras deposits is that given 
by Dr. John L, LeConte, of Philadelphia, Pa., who, in a report 
which he made on his return, says : “ Extensive beds of common 
opal and semi-opal are seen along the belts extending through 
the central part of the Department of Gracias. The localities 
worthy of exploration are those in which the opal forms veins, 
not beds, in compact but brittle trachyte of a dark color. The 
veins, as will be seen, are not confined to such rocks, but seem 
to have their origin in it, and probably are not found except in 
connection with it. The best known mines of precious opal are 
in the Department of Gracias; several localities have yielded 
valuable gems, but they are all remote from the line of road. 
Some are in the vicinity of the town of Gracias, others near In- 
tibucat ; but the most important ones are at Erandique. The 
working is now carried on in a very small way, but the locality is 
extensive, and in the opinion of Dr. LeConte, mining on a large 
scale would be attended with profit. 

The country near by abounds with common opal, but the 



gems occur in somewhat irregular veins running in a northeast 
and southwest direction, and with a nearly perpendicular dip. 
The veins are not continuous, but branch off and disappear at 
short intervals ; neither are the contents of uniform quantity, but 
the valuable parts are usually in belts in the vein, and limited on 
each side by portions of ordinary opal without play of colors. 
These lines of light are sometimes numerous and narrow, alter- 
nating with the common opal, forming a very beautiful gem. 
Many again, even of large size, are uniform in structure, and ex- 
hibit as brilliant a play of colors as do the finest opals from 
Hungary. The hill where they are found is about 250 feet 
high, and two or three miles in length, and for the width of 
half a mile for its whole length opals have been found 
wherever excavations have been made. The rock in which they 
occur is a hard, brittle trachyte with a vitreous lustre, splintering 
into acute fragments when struck. A bed several feet in thick- 
ness overlying this rock, of a gray color and soft consistency, 
probably a trachyte changed by atmospheric action, also contains 
opal veins. Other localities within two leagues of Erandique 
have furnished fine opals, but as they are not now worked, Dr, 
LeConte did not visit them. Many places between Intibucatand 
Las Pedras appear favorable to the existence of opal mines, 
but these can be discovered only by careful scrutiny of a number 
of explorers. As most worthy of future attention, the vicinity of 
Le Pasale and of Yucusapa and the ascent of the great mountain 
of Santa Rosa may be mentioned. Almost certain success will 
attend the search for opal mines in the valley leading from Tambla 
towards the pass of Guayoca, nearly on the line of the proposed 
road. Within half a mile of Tambla are immense beds of common 
opal of various shades of color. Near Guayoca are banded opals 
of alternate layers of opaque and semi-transparent white, having 
the appearance of onyx. They occur in a red, vitreous trachyte, 
and sometimes in contact with the masses of petrified wood which 
strew the ground for a considerable distance. Veins of a pearl- 
colored opal, with red reflections, are also found here. They have 
no commercial value, but serve as indications of better things in 
the neighborhood. Between the two localities mentioned, near 
Tambla and about Guayoca, W. W. Wright, chief assistant of 


the Survey, by following some obscure indications, discovered a 
vein of very pretty glassy opals and yellow fire-opals, not of great 
value, but serving to strengthen the general belief in the ultimate 
discovery of precious opals in the vicinity. Near Choluteca are 
found fire-opals, some of which possess merit. One, not of the 
best, is precisely similar to those obtained by Mr. Wright near 
Tainbla. Within one league of Goascoran is a mine producing 
opals with a good play of color. Another remarkable deposit of 
opal was found by Mr. Wright about five miles east of Villa San 
Antonio in the plains of Comayagua, which though not of high 
value, may be used for ornamental purposes, being of a fine red 
color with transparent amethystine bands. It occurs in veins of 
gray porphyry, sometimes several Inches in thickness, and may 
be procured in large quantities. 

Dr. LeConte had a favorable opportunity to purchase a 
series of fine opals, which he did, and these still remain in the 
possession of his family. From the fact that parcels of opals are 
occasionally brought to the large cities by Indians, it may be con- 
sidered certain that there are many mines in Honduras and other 
parts of Central America, and future investigation may show 
that an opal belt exists that extends from Mexico southward 
perhaps to Central America. 

The opals of Mexico are well known throughout the world, 
although they do not rank in value, and often not in durability, 
with those from Hungary. Del Rio mentions that in 1802 in 
Zimapan, near the sanctuary of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, in a red 
trachytic porphyry, fire-opals were found in abundance, the color 
of the opal being a hyacinth red ; and the same variety of opal 
is mentioned by Sonnenschmidt as occurring in the mine of Toli- 
man, in a trachytic conglomerate, John Mawe 1 mentions these 
opals in his work on precious stones, published in 1812, as having 
been sent to England in quantities at that time. The fire-opal still 
occurs in its greatest perfection in the porphyritic rocks at Zima- 
pan in Mexico. It is generally of a translucent hyacinth-red or 
topaz color, and flashes forth dazzling beams of fiery carmine-red, 
with yellow and green reflections of more or less intensity. When 
these opals are still in the compact red porphyry, they form ob- 

1 A Treatise on Diamonds and Precious Stones (London, 1812), 


jects of remarkable beauty, the flashes of red, green, yellow, 
and blue color intermingling as the light falls on them. A 
beautiful opal was exhibited by the Mexican Commission, at 
the World’s Fair held at Philadelphia in 1876, and was very 
greatly admired by visitors. 

An opal from Zimapan, Mexico, was analyzed by Klaproth, 
with the following result : 

Silica , „ 92*00 

Peroxide of Iron, . . . . . . , 4 o 25 

Water, 7*7 5 

The noble opals at Esperanza are remarkable for the extent 
and intensity of their reflections. The harlequin opals are noted 
for the diversity and the small size of their colored spots, which 
form beautiful miniature mosaics. One of the most pleasing va- 
rieties has a play of red fire like the red variety from Zimapan, 
and mingled with it flashes of brilliant metallic emerald-green, 
and occasionally a violet-blue of remarkable intensity. One of 
the red varieties from the Rosario Mine, on the hill of Jurado, 
has a violet-blue reflection of peculiar beauty ; and the same 
mine produced a variety with a metallic emerald-green and a 
dark ultramarine color combined, or rather showing one after the 
other. The lechosos opals, as those with the red and green re- 
flections are called in Mexico, are very common on the hill of 
Peineta, and less plentiful in the other mines of Queretaro. The 
opal mines of Esperanza are situated ten leagues northwest of 
San Juan del Rio, in the State of Queretaro, and are very exten- 
sive, having been traced over a district thirty leagues long and 
twenty leagues wide. They were discovered in 1835, on the 
landed estates on which they are situated, by a farm laborer. 
It was 1870 before a settlement was made on the edge of 
the mountain Ceja de Leon, by Jose Maria Siurob, near the 
present mine of “Santa Maria Iris.” In 1873 Dr. Mariano de la 
Barcena 1 made a special report on this opal district, in which he 
states that he has discovered ten veins, or mines, as they are 
called. He says : “ The opals of Esperanza are found forming 
chains more or less regular, on the banks of porphyry in quartz 
which forms its base, or disseminated through the mass of the 

1 Am, J, ScL HI., VoL 6, p. 466, Dec., 1S73. 


same rock Veins of porphyry are met with in regular banks, 
which in many cases preserve the same constant direction as on 
the hill of Ceja de Leon, southeast to northwest. The porphyry 
is of a grayish- red color, although in some parts it is lighter 
colored, changing into a reddish-white, even on the surface where 
it is altered. The aspect of the porphyry indicates generally the 
class of opals it contains. Where the rock is brick-red in color, 
compact and hard, the varieties with a fiery-red color abound, 
also the color combined with red, formed from different change- 
able colors, or rather a mixture of colors. However, where the 
porphyry is lighter colored and mottled, noble opals are found more 
abundantly, notably in the mines situated on the hill of Peineta/* 
These mines are remarkable for their richness and the variety of 
their product. In a single piece of rock, from the mine of Sim- 
patica, Dr. Barcena found noble opal, fire opal, harlequin opal, and 
the lechosos opal. One of the mines at which the greatest amount 
of work has been done is the J Tirado. Here an excavation fully 
150 feet deep, 100 feet wide, and several hundred feet long has 
been made, and at the depth of 150 feet the porphyritic rock 
contains an abundance of hydrated silica and common opal. A 
deposit of opal was discovered in 1851 on the brow of the hill of 
the Navajas, at a place called Tepezala, by Juan Orozca and Juan 
Hill, two pupils of the Mexican School of Mines. These were 
fire-opals, in a conglomerate consisting for the greater part of 
trachytic porphyry. In the borough of Tepoentitlan, in the 
district of San Nicholas del Ora, and near Huitzuco, both in the 
State of Guerrero, fire-opals are also found, either light topaz- 
yellow in color, with green, red, and yellow reflections, or white 
changing into reflections. Common and fire-opals have also been 
observed north of San Luis Potosi, on the ridge of Mount 
Mezquitic, and an opal district of considerable extent has been 
observed on the Ciervo estate, three leagues south of Cadereita, 
and fourteen leagues from Esperanza. A quantity of semi-opals, 
cacholong, and hyalite has been obtained here, but no true opal. 
In this locality, the hills are of porphyry, yet the opal-bearing 
rock is readily detected by the appearance of the soil which 
covers it. In the district of Amealco, in the State of Quere- 
taro, opals were observed on the Batan, Galindo, and Lallare 


2 93 

properties. Dr. Manuel Gutierrez says of these that on the 
hills of the El Astillero estate, which is in the jurisdiction of 
Contepec, and in the State of Michoacan, were discovered some 
very rich beds of opals, but D. Jose Maria Siurob of Queretaro, 
the owner of the Esperanza mines, his informant, did not give 
him more definite particulars. 

At present (1889) only one mine is being worked by the 
owner of six of the largest mines. The rock containing opal 
Is brought to the city of Queretaro, a distance of twenty-five 
leagues, and about twenty lapidaries are continually employed in 
cutting and polishing the stone. The miners receive an average 
of twenty-five cents a day and the polishers an average of 
seventy-three cents for their work. 

The noble opals found in Mexico generally exist (unfortu- 
nately) only in thin layers, between or upon layers of common 
opal, without any play of fire. Often only one-half or two-thirds 
of the cavity which contains this variety is filled with opal, and 
it generally shows stratified layers, like an onyx. A layer of 
hyalite is often present on the upper layer, or else the opal is 
very smooth, the opal coating being thin, with a very strong play 
of color, usually too thin to be polished. Both of these varieties 
of opal exist in great abundance in Mexico, and many thousand 
stones are sent to Germany to be remounted in the cheaper class 
of jewelry. Thousands are annually sold to visitors to the cities 
of Mexico, Queretaro, and at railroad stations in Mexico, and 
in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the United States. 

The fire-opal is perhaps the most gorgeous of all varieties of 
the opal, and it is also the most sensitive. It is frequently in- 
jured by water or exposure or by sudden atmospheric changes ; 
indeed, so easily affected are fire-opals by the vicissitudes of the 
weather that they are believed to be brighter in summer than in 
winter, though this difference may be due to the fact that the 
light is better and the weather is warmer in summer. Some vari- 
eties are not so easily influenced, however, and are not injured 
by contact with water. Stones have been known to lose their 
brilliancy even when removed from the influence of atmos- 
pheric changes ; when wrapped in paper, and placed in a jeweler’s 
iron safe, or in the drawers of a collector’s cabinet, they have lost 


their color, or become entirely filled with fissures, more especially 
the very limpid varieties with the flames of color. Often the 
stones, with only a small loss of color, have become entirely 
flawed, the cracks being such as to render the stones unfit for 
setting, since they are liable to break. 

Dr. Augustus C Hamlin 1 gives the two following illus- 
trations of the loss of fire in opals : “ A traveller from Cen- 
tral America brought home a splendid rough fire-opal which 
dazzled the eye with its fiery reflections. It was taken to 
an honest lapidary, who received it with a doubtful look. 
The next day the opal was returned, having been shaped 
into the usual oval form, but only faint gleams of any of the 
colored rays flashed from its surface or the interior. ‘ Is this 
the gem which was given you yesterday ?’ was demanded of the 
artisan. With a smile the lapidary took the transparent stone, 
and roughened its finely polished surface upon the wooden wheel. 
In an instant the lost fire returned, as if directed by magic’s 
wand. The perfect transparency of the gem, with its high pol- 
ish, had allowed the rays to pass directly through it, and there 
was but little refraction, but on roughening the surface the light 
was interrupted, and the peculiar property of the mineral dis- 
played. Unfortunately the lesson was not concluded here. At 
the last touch of the wheel the beautiful gem flew into two parts, 
and its glories departed in an instant. Saddened with the day’s 
experience, the two fragments were taken, cemented together, 
and tossed into a drawer which contained other mineral speci- 
mens of no great value. Some months after, when searching for 
a misplaced mineral, a gleam of light suddenly flashed out as the 
drawer w T as again opened. It was the neglected and abused 
opal, which now gleamed with the energy of a living coal of fire. 
It had recovered its beautiful reflections, and still adorns, not- 
withstanding its fracture, a most cherished jewel. Whence this 
mysterious change? the reader may ask. It can only be said 
that the complete transparency of the stone had been lessened, 
and perhaps the change was due to the action of some of the in- 
gredients of the cement with which the fragments of the broken 
gem were united.” 

1 Leisure Hours Among the Gems, 8vo,, Boston, 1S84, 


2 95 

Many of the Mexican and some of the Central American 
opals have the reputation of fading and becoming translucent, or 
opaque, or cracking in course of time, according to the circum- 
stances of the exposure. 

Dr. Hamlin’s second instance illustrates this : “A few years 
ago, some Spaniards arrived in New York with a bag of rough 
opals brought from Central America, but from what particular 
locality we never learned. The specimens varied from the size 
of a bean to that of an English walnut, and were extremely 
beautiful. They had a fresh appearance, as though they had 
been recently extracted from the mines, and many of them had 
portions of the soft, sandy matrix still attached to them. They 
excited suspicions of not having been properly tempered and 
hardened by exposure. But their beauty, which reminded one of 
the perfect glowworm, or lumps of phosphorus moistened with 
oil, did not allow the spectator to hesitate about the purchase of 
them, especially as they were offered at a moderate price. We 
invested in the purchase of several charming ones, and never 
wearied in examining their exquisite effects. Still we felt a vague 
suspicion of the enduring qualities of our newly acquired treas- 
ures. The most beautiful stone, the size of a small almond, we 
carried in our pocket for a long time, not only for our gratifica- 
tion, but for the purpose of studying the effect of the atmosphere 
upon its reflections. Soon after the acquisition, we fancied a 
slight shadow, or nebulosity, appearing in one end of the stone. 
We carefully watched it, and before long an indistinct cloudiness 
began to appear, like the dim and distant haze of a summer sky 
on the commencement of a storm. Even then, we thought it 
might be mere fancy on our part. But when the shadow changed 
to opacity, and the transparency of the gem, with its beautiful re- 
flections, vanished never to return, we were compelled to admit 
that even substances of the mineral kingdom had their diseases, 
as well as forms of the organic world. This is indeed but one 
example to illustrate a theory, but most of those we purchased at 
that time of the Spaniards have altered in appearance, and some 
of them quite as seriously. Wherefore, we have arrived at the 
conclusion that recently mined opals should be bought with cau- 
tion, and that the perfection of a rough opal as a gem cannot be 


safely estimated until after it has been cut by the lapidary." 
Possibly these opals had been soaked in oil, a device which 
is sometimes practised to improve or restore the color. 

About one hundred natives work the Esperanza mines in a 
desultory manner. The opals are nearly all cut at three cutting 
establishments, in the city of Oueretaro. The cutting is done in 
the rudest manner, by native lapidaries, who neither give the 
stones a good shape nor polish them properly ; hence they rarely 
show their true beauty, and very few are sent out of Mexico to 
be cut. Fully 50,000 are cut annually, and this amount could be 
doubled should the demand exist. Occasionally, when the color 
is thick enough, they show an intensity of color — often only one 
color, such as red, green, or yellow — not rivalled even by the 
Hungarian stones, and the Mexican opal in all its varieties is 
often purchased with the hope of realizing for them an equal 
value. The prices asked vary from a few cents to upward 
of $100. Lots of thousands are often sold for less than ten 
cents each, occasionally exceptional stones selling for $100, 
rarely for more. A beautiful series of opals exhibited by the 
Mexican Commission at the World’s Fair held in Paris during 
1889, consisted of noble and fire-opals. One large stone with 
superb pink flames was especially beautiful. 

A remarkable fire-opal was brought home from Mexico by 
Alexander von Humboldt, and is still preserved in the Berlin 
Mineralogical Museum. 

The Spanish historians, in their marvellous stories of the 
wonders seen in Mexico at the time of the Conquest, describe the 
image of the mystic deity, Quetzalcoatl — God of the Air— on the 
great pyramid of Cholula, as wearing a mitre waving with plumes 
of fire, an effect which is supposed to have been produced by 
masses of mosaics of fire-opal. A well-known Mexican opal is the 
one sold in the collection formed by Henry Philip Hope. 1 It was 
a Mexican fire-opal, or sun-opal, as it W'as called, carved 
with the head of the great Mexican Sun God, and is be- 
lieved to have been taken from a Persian temple. It has been 
known since the sixteenth century, and brought ^262 at the sale 
of the Hope jewels in London in 1886. With the fire-opal is also 

1 Catalogue Hope Collection, plate xxxi, fig. 3, p. 3 (London, 1839). 


found the variety known as hydrophane. In this form the opal 
is generally white or dull yellow in color, but when it is wet, it 
becomes transparent, often brilliant in color. This variety 
often absorbs almost an equal bulk of water before it is fully 
saturated. It has no value as a gem, although often an object 
of very great beauty. 

A beautiful variety of opal agate is found in the State of Ja- . 
lisco. Pink, yellow, and green, especially the softer shades, occur 
and are blended and veined in the most pleasing manner. It 
exists in considerable quantity, and is valued as a decorative 
stone for metal work or jewelry. 

Obsidian is abundant on the hill of the Navajas in Pachuca, 
in Tulancingo, in Ucareo, State of Michoacan, in Penjamo, and 
on the landed property of Pateo, belonging to the same State. 

In Magdalena village, in the State of Jalisco, in Cardereita Men- 
dez, in the State of Queretaro, and in many other parts of Mex- 
ico it is found in a variety of colors, such as golden, silvery, 
black, bluish, greenish, or reddish. The included crystals which 
the obsidian contains often give this mineral a double color, the 
one black, the other chatoyant, either yellow, greenish-gray, or 
white, and always at right angles to the black. This stone holds 
an important place in the archaeology of Mexico. Obsidian was 
most extensively used in Mexico, before the empire of the Aztecs 
succumbed to the Spanish invaders. The old obsidian mines are 
still to be seen on the Cerro de Navajas, or “ Hill of Knives,” 
which is situated in a northeasterly direction from the City of 
Mexico, at some distance from the Indian town Atotonilco el 
Grande. These mines provided the ancient population of Mex- 
ico with vast quantities of the much-prized stone, of which they 
made double-edged knives, arrows, and spear-heads, mirrors, skil- 
fully executed masks, and ornaments of various kinds. Hum- 
boldt speaks of the Hill of Knives. 1 For a precise description 
we are indebted to Edward B. Tylor,’ who visited that interesting 
locality in 1856, while traveling through Mexico in company with 
Mr. Christy. Besides many facts relating to the archae- 
ology and ethnology of Mexico, this writer furnishes the best ob- 

1 Essai politique sur la Nouvelle-Espagne, Vol, 3, p< 122 , 

3 Anahuac : or, Mexico and the Mexicans, Ancient and Modem (London, i86i). 


servations on obsidian from that country. Describing the mines, 
he says : “ Some of the trachytic porphyry which forms the sub- 
stance of the hills had happened to have cooled, under suitable 
conditions, from the molten state into a sort of slag, or volcanic 
glass, which is the obsidian in question ; and in places, this vitre- 
ous lava, from one layer, having flowed over another which was 
already cool, it became regularly stratified. The mines were 
mere walls, not very deep, with horizontal workings into the 
obsidian, where it was very good and in thick layers. Round 
about were heaps of fragments, hundreds of tons of them ; and it 
is clear, from the shape of these, that some of the manufacturing 
was done on the spot There had been great numbers of pits 
worked, and it was from these little mines — min ill as, as they are 
called — -that we first got an idea how important an element this 
obsidian was in the old Aztec civilization* In excursions made 
since, we traveled over whole districts in the plains where frag- 
ments of these arrows and knives were to be found literally at 
every step, mixed with fragments of pottery, and here and there 
a little clay idol” 

From the center of the State of Ohio to the country of the 
Shoshones, as well as the Rio Gila, and the mines in Mexico, 
the straight distances are almost equal, measuring about seven- 
teen hundred English miles ; indeed the Mexican mines are a 
little nearer to Ohio than the other districts* It would be idle, 
therefore, to speculate from which of these localities the obsidian 
found in Ohio and Tennessee was derived. The number of ar- 
ticles of this stone that have been met with east of the Missis- 
sippi is so exceedingly small that its technical significance hardly 
deserves any consideration. Two large obsidian knives, about 
18 inches long, found in Mexico and of Mexican origin, and 
almost identical in appearance, are marvels for their fine chip- 
ping. They are to be seen, one in the United States National 
Museum at Washington (see Illustration), and one in the Tro- 
cadero Collection in Paris. Lip-ornaments, mirrors, and other 
objects are to be found m the United States National Museum, 
in the National Museum in City of Mexico, the Trocadero 
Museum at Paris, the Archaeological Collection of the British 
Museum, London, and M. Goupil's collection at Paris. A 



number of the finest known mirror and engraved plaques of 
obsidian are in the Trocadero Museum. A square one from 
Texcoco, measuring 9 | x 8 | x ij inches (24 x 21 £ x 3 centi- 
meters), and a round one, convex on one side, from Oaxaca, 
inches (16 centimeters) in diameter (see Fig. 16), are both 
wonderful pieces of primitive stone work. The one possessing 
the greatest archaeological interest is the square plaque described 
by the director, Dr. E. 

Haray,' on which is the 
inscription “Ypanquetza- 
litzli 4 acatl ” (9th Decem- 
ber, 1483), the date of the 
laying of the first stone of the 
Great Temple of Mexico. 

The polished carved figures 
are exceedingly interesting. 

(See Illustration.) 

The richly mottled red 
and black, brown and black, 
and yellow and black ob- 
sidian, called marekanite, is 
found in large quantities in 
the State of Jalisco, gener- 
ally in sufficiently large 
masses to be useful as a dec- 
orative stone, since it admits 
of polish. Associated with 

no. 16 . 


Pitchstone exists in 

it in quantity is pearlite, 
or sphaerulite, which shows 
reddish-brown spherules in a gray matrix, 
quantity with it. 

Pyrite which is really a mixture of pyrite in cubes and 
marcasite in plates, as determined by Dr. Alexis A. Julien 3 — was 
worked by the ancient Aztecs into mirrors and other objects. 
The mirrors were generally semicircular on one side, and pol- 
ished flat on the other side, and the polish is often still preserved. 

1 Revue d’ Ethnographic, Vol* 2, p. 193, 1883* 

3 Ann, N. Y, Acad* Sd., Vol, 3, p, 365, 1886 and VoL 4, p. 125, 1887, 


The rounded side was often curiously carved and decorated. (See 
Fig. 17.) They also carved pyrite into other objects, notably a 
human head 2 inches high, in which were inserted eyes of white 
chalcedony, now in the Blake Collection in the United States Na- 
tional Museum, and a number of mirrors, now in the 1 rocaddro 
Museum, Paris. (See Fig. 17,) 


FIG. I?. 



Mexican onyx, so called, is really an aragonite. Prof. 
Mariano Barcena, of the Mexican Commission to the World’s 
Fair held in Philadelphia during 1876, has recently published an 
account of its occurrence and chemical character. 1 The principal 
deposits are located near the town of Tecali in the State of Pueblo. 
It is essentially a carbonate of calcium, containing small quantities 
of the oxides of iron and manganese, to which are due the varie- 
gated colors for which the rock is so much admired. The specific 
gravity, 2 ‘9, shows that it is aragonite. It was extensively used by 
the ancient Mexicans, specimens of whose handiwork we still have 
preserved in our museums in the form of masks, idols, and a vari- 
ety of objects. The softness of the material (it can be readily carved 
with a knife) has tempted some of the modern residents of Mex- 

1 The Rocks Known as Mexican Onyx, Proc. Acad* Nat* ScL, Phila., Vol. 28, p, i66 7 1876* 



ico to imitate the ancient objects, to meet the demand of visitors 
to that country. This material is entirely stalagmatic in its for- 
mation, and yellow-brown and red oxides of iron have been de- 
posited between the layers. It is generally cut across the layers, 
which gives it a beautiful veined appearance. When it is cut in 
the same direction as the deposition, the botryoidal structure is 
well shown, the mineral being so translucent that the markings 
resemble colored clouds. It is one of the most beautiful orna- 
mental stones of any age, and has been used extensively for or- 
namental purposes in Europe as well as in the United States, 
where it was first introduced about 1876, when it brought about 
ten times its present price. The natives in the vicinity of Pueblo 
sell large quantities of this material, made into trays, crucifixes, 
reliquaries, inkstands, penholders, paper-folders, and paper- 
weights, in the form of single fruits or bunches of fruit, fish, or 
other natural objects, which are copied, not only with regard to 
form, but often with remarkable skill in the utilization of the col- 
ors in the stone. So great is the variety of tints of color in 
which the material is found that there is scarcely a limit to its 
possibilities for such purposes, Bernardino de Sahagun refers to 
iztac chalchihuitl, white or fine green, and quite transparent, 
obtained from quarries in the vicinity of Tecalco, which Dr. 
Daniel G. Brinton 1 believes to be the modem Tecali ; and the de- 
scription and locality answer so well to those of our so-called 
Mexican onyx that there can scarcely be a doubt that this was 
referred to by Sahagun as iztac chalchihuitl. 

In the summer of 1888, William Cooper, of Esperanza, 
discovered in the volcano of Zempoaetepetl, in southern Mex- 
ico, a deposit of a beautiful mineral, which has received the trade 
name of mosaic agate; this is really the so-called Mexican 
onyx. It is an aragonite, with the difference, however, that 
the latter is always veined or stratified, whereas the new material 
is a brecciated or “ruin aragonite.” The original formation 
has evidently been entirely broken up, the fragments having been 
cemented together and the crevices all filled in with a new depo- 
sition of aragonite, showing conclusively that a deposit of Mexi- 
can onyx had been fractured by some disturbance, possibly vol- 



canic, and that a subsequent deposition of the material cemented 
it into its present form. Like aragonite, it is susceptible of a 
high polish, the difference between the two being that in the 
onyx the straight bands of color of the aragonite are broken and 
disseminated throughout the mass, making its general effect even 
more pleasing and brilliant than that of the latter. It can easily 
be cut into thin slabs, and makes beautiful tops for ornamental 
tables and bureaus. It is often cut into solid columns and used 
for pedestals for busts or statuary. 

Specimens of a very remarkable amber have occasionally 
been brought by travelers, for the last fifteen or twenty years, 
from some locality in southern Mexico. The only information 
gained concerning it is that it is brought to the coast by natives, 
who say that it occurs in the interior so plentifully that it is used 
by them for making fires. The color of this amber is a rich 
golden-yellow, and when viewed in different positions, it exhibits 
a remarkable fluorescence, similar to that of uranine, which it also 
resembles in color. A specimen in the possession of Martius T. 
Lynde measures 4x3x2 inches, is perfectly transparent, and is 
even more beautiful than the famous so-called opalescent or green 
amber found in Catania, Sicily. This material would be extremely 
valuable for use in the arts. 

Amber was formerly used as incense by the Aztecs, and 
fragments have been found on the altars of ancient temples, also 
in the Catholic churches in early Mexico. 

Aboriginal Lapidanan Work in North America* 

T HIS chapter may seem out of place in a treatise on 
precious and ornamental stones, yet the chipping of an 
arrow-point, the grinding and polishing of a groove in 
an axe-head, the drilling of a bead or tube or an ear- 
ornament, all are done by the application of the same lapidarian 
methods that are practised to-day by cutters of agates or precious 
stones. The cutter of to-day, with a hammer, chips into shape the 
crystal or piece of agate before it is ground ; and there is lit- 
tle difference between the ancient method of drilling and that of 
the present. The stone bead of ancient time was drilled from both 
ends, the drill holes often overlapping, or not meeting as neatly 
as by the modern method of drilling from one end. 

The old way of drilling is still practised in the East, where 
the primitive bow-drill is used by lapidaries to-day precisely as it 
has been used by savage tribes in all quarters of the globe, though 
producing at different periods different qualities of work. No- 
where was its use better understood than in ancient Greece and 
Rome, where by its means were engraved the wonderful intaglios 
and cameos which now grace our museums, and which have never 
been surpassed in any period of the world’s history. For the spe- 
cial use of gem engraving, the bow-drill has been replaced by a 
horizontal lathe, which, however, does not allow the freedom of 




touch or softness of feeling which artists attained by the use of the 
bow-drill. The instrument known as the dental drill is really an 
improved form of bow-drill, working much more rapidly. An 
S. S. White dental engine, provided with a suitable series of drill- 
points, answers every purpose, and has been found especially 
useful in exposing fossils and minerals when covered with 

rock, the objects being opened with 
great rapidity, with little danger of 
injury. As shown by the author in a 
paper on a new method of engrav- 
ing cameos and intaglios, 1 an artist 
could be so trained to the use of this 
improved bow-drill as to attain the 
same softness and feeling developed 
by the old lapidarian masters. 

In the ancient specimens of work, 
tubes from which a core had been 
drilled out by means of a reed and 
sand, revolved by the hand (see Fig. 

1 8 ), were done as neatly as anything 
can be done, the reason being that the 
object was entirely drilled from end 
to end. This method of drilling is 
still practised, except that the hollow 
reed is replaced by the diamond or 
steel drill. When a valuable stone is 
being drilled, a sheet of steel or a 
thin iron tube is substituted for it. 
The polishing and grinding now is 
done on rapidly revolving disks, hori- 
zontal or lay wheels, as they are called, whereas, formerly, the 
slow process of rubbing with the hand on board or leather was 
perhaps resorted to. No lapidary can do finer work than that 
shown by the obsidian objects from Mexico (see Illustration), the 
labrets, and the ear-ornaments, which are even more highly 
polished, though no portion of the circle is thicker than ^jV of 
an inch. An obsidian coyote head in the Blake Collection in 

1 Trans. N. Y. Acad. Sci., Vol. 3, p. 105, June, 1884, also Jeweler’s Circular, June, 1S84. 

FIG, S3 + 




the United States National Museum is a large ornament 6 
inches across, highly polished, and bored through the center. 
The spear-points and hoes from East St. Louis and other 
parts of Missouri and Illinois, and beautiful sacrificial knives— 
notably the immense knife, 18 inches in length, in the Blake 
Collection of the United States National Museum (see Illustra- 
tion), and the one in the Ethnological Museum at the Trocadero 
in Paris— show the greatest skill in chipping. 

PTC. Jtj* 


Many of the aboriginal stone objects found in North Amer- 
ica and elsewhere are marvels of lapidarian skill in chipping, 
drilling, grinding, and polishing. Few lapidaries could dupli- 
cate the arrow-points of obsidian from New Mexico, or those 
of jasper, agate, agatized wood, and other minerals found along 
the Willamette River, Oregon. No lapidary could drill a 
hard stone object truer than some of the banner-stones (see 
Fig. 19), tubes, and other objects made of quartz, greenstone, 
and granite that have been found in North Carolina, Georgia, 
and Tennessee, or make anything more graceful in form 

306 gems and precious stones in the 

and general outline than are some of the quartz discordal 
stones found in these same States. These latter objects 
are often from 4 to 6 inches, and occasionally 7 inches, in 
diameter, ground in the center until they are of the thinness of 
paper and almost transparent, and the great regularity of the two 
sides would almost suggest that they had been turned in a lathe. 
This may have been accomplished by mounting a log in the side 
of a tree so that it would revolve, and cementing the stones with 
pitch to the end of the log, as a lapidary would do to-day at 
Oberstein, Germany, or by allowing the shaft of the lathe to pro- 
trude through the side of the log, and cementing the stone to be 
turned on this. The Egyptian wood-turner at work in the Rue 
du Caire, at the World’s Fair held in Paris during 1889, might, 
with his lathe, polish a large ornament of jade for jadeite, like 
the masks, idols, tablets, and other objects found in Mexico and 
Central America, or the jade knives from Alaska, in the United 
States National Museum. 

Numerous descriptions have appeared of the chipping — or 
rather arrow-making — of aboriginal lapidarians. Caleb Lyon de- 
scribes a California Indian of the Shasta tribe, whom he had seen 
making arrow-heads of obsidian. 

“The Indian,” he says, “seated himself on the floor, and 
placing a stone anvil upon his knee, which was of compact talcose 
slate, with one blow of his agate chisel he separated the obsidian 
pebble into two parts, then giving another blow to the fractured 
side he split off a slab a fourth of an inch in thickness. Holding 
the piece against the anvil with thumb and finger of his left hand, 
he commenced a series of continuous blows, every one of which 
chipped off fragments of the brittle substance. It gradually as- 
sumed the required shape. After finishing the base of the ar- 
row-head (the whole being only a little over an inch in length) he 
began striking gentler blows, every one of which he expected 
would break it into pieces. Yet such was their adroit applica- 
tion, his skill and dexterity, that in little over an hour he pro- 
duced a perfect obsidian arrow-head. Among them arrow-mak- 
ing is a distinct trade or profession, which many attempt, but in 
which few attain excellence." 1 

1 Bulletin of the American Ethnological Society, voL 1, p* 39, New York, iS6i + 



Another method of arrow-making practised by the Califor- 
nia tribes is mentioned by Edward E. Chever in an article 1 in 
which is illustrated the implement used in the process. “ The 
arrow-head,” he says, “ is held in the left hand, while the nick in 
the side of the tool is used as a nipper to chip off small frag- 
ments. This operation is very curious, both the holder and the 
striker singing, and the strokes of the mallet, given exactly in time 


with the music, and with a sharp and rebounding blow, in which, 
the Indians tell us, is the great medicine (or mystery) of the opera- 
tion. Every tribe has its factory in which these arrow-heads are 
made, and in those only certain adepts are able or allowed to make 
them for the use of the tribe." 

Arrow-heads of glass, flint, obsidian, or similar substances 

1 American Naturalist vol. 4, p. 139, May, 1870. 

308 gems and precious stones in the 

have been made by a number of our modern archseologists, and 
a series is now in the United States National Museum. 
The process consists, first, in chipping off a thick, suitable flake, 
then pressing against one of the sides a bone object (nothing 
better than the handle of a tooth-brush) until a small nick is 
made in the side. Each pressure makes a nick, and the flake is 
constantly reversed so that the nicks are alike on both sides. 
With a little practise, any one can make a fairly good arrow- 
point. Dr. F. Capitan, of Paris, exhibited in the liberal arts sec- 
tion of the World’s Fair held in Paris during 1889, in connection 
with a collection of flint cores, flakes, and fragments illustrating 
the manipulation of the material in the palaeolithic age, models 
of two wax hands, the left holding a hammer stone, the right 
the flint core (see Fig. 20), thus giving a graphic illustration 
of the manner in which the flints were chipped. 

The Oregon arrow-points are examples of the highest degree 
in stone chipping attained by savages, and they often afford gem 
material so that the demand for them as articles of jewelry is not 
surprising. They are not now made by Oregon Indians and are 
only sparingly found. They may be picked up in certain districts, 
after a heavy freshet. Large quantities were formerly found in 
Oregon City ; one dealer there is said to have sold 40,000 during 
the past ten years and fully 50,000 have been found there in that 
time, which were sold for at least $6,000. Originally their price 
was from five to fifty cents each, but the present scarcity has 
increased it to $i, or $5 for exceptionally fine ones, which are 
usually made of rock crystal ; flesh-colored, red, yellow-brown, or 
mottled jasper ; obsidian; variously colored chalcedony ; or agat- 
ized wood. They are sold principally in the East, as scarcely 
any are used in Oregon for jewelry. Many thousands are in the 
collections of Prof. Othniel C. Marsh of Yale College, New 
Haven, and of James Terry at the American Museum of Natural 
History in New York City, and they can be seen in all of our bet- 
ter collections. In North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, 
beautiful arrow-points of pellucid rock crystal or transparent and 
smoky quartz are occasionally found. Some of these are two 
inches long. A beautiful rock-crystal knife, which was found at 
Wind River, Ariz., was exhibited at the World’s Fair held in 



Paris during 1889. In this connection see also three papers by 
Charles Rau, u Drilling in Stone without the Use of Metals, 
Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1868,” “Ancient 
Aboriginal Trade in North America, Report of the Smith- 
sonian Institution for 1872”; and “ The Stock in Trade of an 
Aboriginal Lapidary, Report of the Smithsonian Institution 
for 1S78/’ (See also Chapter on Mexico, page 284,) 


Definitions, Imports, and Production, Values, Cutting of Diamonds and Other Stones, 
Watch Jewels, Collections of Gems, Minerals, and Jade, Uses of Precious 
and Ornamental Stones for the Ornamentation of Silver, 
and Furniture and for Interior Decoration, 

Trilobite Ornaments. 

W HAT is a precious stone? The answer to this 
question is not easy, for the value of a particu- 
lar kind of stone is often due in great measure 
to the caprice of fashion, or to some adventi- 
tious circumstance of time or place ; and some stones that are to- 
day of small value have, during certain periods in the past, almost 
displaced the diamond or the ruby in public estimation. Beauty 
of color, hardness, and rarity are the essential qualities which en- 
title a mineral to be called precious. Strictly speaking, the only 
precious stones are the diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald, 
though the term is often extended to the opal, notwithstanding 
its lack of hardness, and to the pearl, which is not a mineral but 
strictly an animal product. 

Popularly, a gem is a precious or semi-precious stone, espe- 
cially when cut or polished for ornamental purposes. Mineralogi- 
cally, the term designates a class or family of minerals hard 
enough to scratch quartz, without metallic lustre, but generally 
brilliant and beautiful, and includes the semi-precious or fancy 
stones (called pierres de fantaisie by the French), such as the 
chrysoberyls, alexandrites, tourmalines, spinel, and topaz. Ar- 
chaeologically, the term is restricted to engraved stones, such as 


3 1 ! 

intaglios and cameos. The term jewel is applied to a gem only 
after it has been mounted. 

The epithet phenomenal has been applied in this work to 
stones which exhibit a play of color, like the opal, moonstone, 
sunstone, and labrador spar; or which change their color by ar- 
tificial light, like the alexandrite ; or show a line or band or 
bands of light, as the line in the cat’s-eye and the star in the 
ruby or sapphire asteria. 

Public interest in semi-precious stones has increased greatly 
during the last ten years. Formerly jewelers sold only diamonds, 
rubies, sapphires, emeralds, pearls, garnets, and agates, but at 
present it is not unusual to have almost any of the mineralogical 
gems, such as zircon, asteria or star sapphire or star ruby, tourma- 
line, spinel, or titanite, called for, not only by collectors, but by the 
public, whose taste has advanced in the matter of precious stones 
as well as in the fine arts. Ten years ago $100,000 was an 
unusual amount for even the wealthiest to have invested in 
diamonds : to-day there are a number of families each owming 
diamonds to the value of half a million dollars. Ear-rings worth 
from $5,000 to $8,000 a pair excite no wonder to-day : formerly, 
they were seldom seen. Of the French crown jewels sold 
in Paris, May, 1886, more than one-third, aggregating over 
$500,000 in value, came to the United States. 

Three diamonds are owned in this country weighing 5 5$, 77, 
and 1 25$ carats respectively ; the latter, known as the Tiffany 
diamond, is the handsomest large yellow diamond ever found. 
A number of necklaces worth over $100,000 each are owned 
in the United States, and one necklace, worth $320,000, was 
recently sold at the death of its owner. Among other diamonds 
worthy of note that are owned in the United States are four 
of the Mazarins 1 from the French crown jewels, and a diamond 
that belonged to the Empress Catharine of Russia. Besides 
these, there is one single stone weighing 25JI carats, valued at 
$45,000; a ruby of 9! carats, worth over $33,000, and a number 

1 In the inventory of the French crown jewels, 1791, mention is made of “ the tenth Mazarin.” 
Cardinal Mazarin had fostered the diamond -Cutting industry in Paris, and the diamonds called 
“ Mazarins ” arc supposed either to have belonged to him originally or to have been recut under 
his direction. All of the ten Mazarins, however, were not found. 



of rubies worth over $10,000 ; white pearls worth from $5,000 to 
$1 1,000 each ; black pearls worth over $6,000 each ; pearl neck- 
laces worth from $20,000 to $100,000 each ; an emerald worth over 
$12,000 ; and half a dozen families at least own jewels which rank 
in value, as regards intrinsic worth, with those belonging to some 
of the royal and imperial families of Europe, differing only, per- 
haps, in quality ; as perfect stones were bought by the Americans, 
whereas the regal jewels depend to some extent for their value 
on historic association. 

The expression first water, when applied to a diamond, 
denotes that it is free from all trace of color, blemish, flaw, or 
other imperfection, and that its brilliancy is perfect. It is, 
however, frequently applied to stones not quite perfect, but the 
best that the dealer has, and they may be of only second 
quality. It is almost impossible to value a diamond by its weight 
only. Color, brilliancy, cutting, and the general perfection of 
the stone have all to be taken into account. Of two stones, both 
flawless, and of the same weight, one may be worth $600, and 
the other $12,000. Exceptional stones often bring unusual 
prices, while off-colored stones sell for $60 to $100 a carat, re- 
gardless of size. The poor qualities have depreciated so much 
in value that some are worth only from one-tenth to one-fourth 
what they were worth twenty years ago. This is specially true 
of large stones of the second or third quality. To show the 
variation of diamonds in value, the following may be instanced. 
Four of the Mazarins were appraised in 1792 by the commission 
appointed at that time, and the price at which they were 
estimated, and the price paid for them in 1887 by dealers, to be 
re-sold, were as follows : 

WEIGHT (carats) 1 

24 n 
22 | 






Owing to the absorption, by the DeBeers Mines of South 
Africa, of nearly all the African mines, to such an extent that 
these mines produce twenty-nine thirtieths of all the diamonds 
mined to-day, cut diamonds advanced fully one quarter in price 

1 The carat used was the international carat* See p* 14* 


during the last months of 1889; and as mining must now be 
carried to greater depths, involving a higher cost, the price 
is likely to be maintained, if not advanced. 

Imports of Diamonds into the United States. — From 
the customs import-lists, after deducting the approximate value of 
cut stones other than the diamond, we find that import duty was 
paid on about $ 1 20,000,000 worth of cut diamonds in the last 
twenty-four years, of which $90,000,000 worth were imported dur- 
ing the last twelve years. I n 1 868 $ 1 ,000,000 worth were imported, 
and about $1,200, 000 worth in 1867, but about $1 1,000, 000 in 1888, 
and the same amount in 1889, or ten times as many in the latter 
year as twenty years previous, showing the increase of wealth 
and the great popularity of the diamond among Americans, the 
previous figures representing the import prices, exclusive of 
mounting or dealers’ profits. A single firm at present sells 
yearly more than the annual import of 1867. 

Diamond dust worth $464,905 has been imported since 1878, 
$289,430 worth from 1868 to 1878, and in 1869 to 1871 only $228 
worth ; but the first year after the opening of the Kimberley 
Mines, $80,707 worth was imported, showing one of the great 
benefits the arts received from the opening of the great South 
African diamond mines. 

In 1878 the importations of uncut diamonds amounted to 
$63,270, in 1887 to $262,357, showing that four times as many 
diamonds were cut in 1887 as in 1878, though the importations 
were falling off. The total for the decade -was $2,728,214, while 
in 1883 there were imported $443,996 worth, in 1888 $322,356 
worth, and in 1889 $191,341. The falling off in importation is 
partly because in the years since 1882 a number of jewelers, who 
had opened diamond-cutting establishments, either gave up or 
sold that branch of business ; for, in spite of the protective 
duty of 10 per cent, on cut stones, cutting cannot be profitably 
carried on unless on a scale large enough to enable a partner to 
reside in London, the great market for rough diamonds, in 
order to take advantage of every fluctuation in the market, and 
purchase large parcels, to be cut immediately and converted into 
cash as fast as they are sold. 

Diamond-Cutting. — This industry is now carried on in the 

Not specified since 18S3* 

of substances not included in the foregoing table, 1 368 to 1888 inclusive 


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United States much more extensively than ever before, but it 
has not always proved profitable. London is the great market 
for diamonds in the rough, and diamonds are sold so soon after 
arrival there, and the competition of the cutters of continental 
Europe is so keen, that Americans, who have not such ready ac- 
cess to the market, cannot always make a profitable purchase ; 
moreover, the recent consolidation of the larger mines has placed 
the control of the price of rough diamonds in a few hands. The 
trade, therefore, has in many cases been given up, and among 
the successful dealers the standard of merit has been raised until 
to-day the finest cutting is done in the United States. A large 
part of the work done here consists in cutting fine material, in 
recutting old stones that were valued in Europe for weight only, 
or in improving modern work, and these branches are generally 
profitable. But even with a protective duty of io per cent, on 
cut gems (a higher rate "would encourage smugglers), it is im- 
probable that the work of the great foreign cutting-centres can 
be rivalled in this country, since the demand is for fine material, 
and large parcels of rough stones seldom yield more than io per 
cent, of the best quality. 

Henry D. Morse, of Boston, was the first to cut diamonds 
in this country, and the best cutters in the United States to-day 
received their training under him. Educating in this art young 
Americans, both men and women, was not his greatest work, for 
he showed that diamond-cutting, which had so long been monop- 
olized by the Hollanders, was degenerating in their hands into a 
mere mechanical trade. He studied the diamond scientifically, 
and taught his pupils that mathematical precision in cutting 
greatly enhanced the beauty and consequently the value of the 
gem ; and his artistic sense, sound judgment, and keen percep- 
tion enabled him to carry the art to a degree of perfection not 
often attained. His treatment of the diamond gave a great im- 
petus to the industry both here and abroad, shops being opened, 
both in this country and in London, in consequence of his suc- 
cess. In his shop a machine for cutting diamonds was invented, 
that did away in a great measure with the tediousness and inac- 
curacy of the old manual process. Thanks to his labors, there 
are now in the United States some of the best cutters in the 


world, — men who can treat the diamond as it should be treated 
in order to develop its greatest beauty. The fact that so many 
fine stones have been recut here led to a great improvement 
abroad in cutting, especially in the French Jura and in Switzer- 
land, where both sexes are now employed at that trade ; and, as 
a result, diamonds sold to-day are better than those of twenty 
years ago. Mr. Morse, above all others, has shown that diamond- 
cutting is an art, and not an industry. 

There are at present about twelve diamond-cutting establish- 
ments in this country, employing from one to fifty men each, in 
all about a hundred, at salaries ranging from $20 to $50 a week. 
Most of the cutting done is of a high class, some shops being 
almost entirely employed in recutting stones previously cut 
abroad. Ten years ago nearly all the diamonds used in the 
United States were purchased through brokers or importers ; 
now, owing to the marvelous growth of the diamond business 
here, and the facilities for transatlantic travel, some of the large 
retail houses buy their diamonds direct in the European 
markets, and in more than one instance have established branches 
or agencies abroad. 

Agate Cutting. — In cutting large surfaces of hard materials, 
such as agate, jasper, and quartz, no better work has been done 
than that of the Drake Company of Sioux Falls, South Dak, 
Agate-cutting, as already stated, has been carried on for over three 
hundred years in the Oberstein district in Germany. But little 
attention, however, has been paid to the cutting of large 
masses, because no agates are found over a foot in diameter, and 
the banding is not such as to offer any inducement for polishing. 
Perfected methods for sawing and polishing such material have 
resulted from experiments recently conducted 1 by the Drake 
Company. They have undertaken the preparation of agatized 
w'ood for the market, and have succeeded in producing a 
large number of columns from 8 to 12 inches wide, and 2 to 3 
feet high, cut transversely across the tree, so that the heart 
is visible on two sides, with radiations in all directions ; they also 
cut sections measuring respectively 13, 17, 24, and 25 inches in 
diameter, and so highly polished that when turned with the back 

1 Eng* and Min. Jour*, Vol. 45, p. 214, March 24, 1888. 

318 gems and precious stones in the 

to the light, they form perfect mirrors. All the specimens are 
brilliant in color and rival any work ever done in hard mate- 
rial. One of the finest sections of an agatizcd trunk was sent to 
New York in the autumn of 1 888. It measured 40} by 34 inches 
on the top, was 36 inches high, and weighed 25- tons. The 
top was four months undergoing the process of grinding down 
and polishing; it is a deep, rich red, yellow, black, mottled 
and variegated, and beautifully polished. This is probably the 
finest piece of hard-stone polishing that has been done in the 
United States. The company has removed from the forest 180 
tons of material, and 20 tons of sections have been ground down 
to show its characteristic beauty. The process is briefly as fol- 
lows : The faces of the rough sections are irregular, and must be 
worn down to a smooth surface. To accomplish this they are 
set in circular form in what is known as the “ Drake Beds,” 
about ten feet in diameter, composed of various-sized sections of 
the material set by the use of a spirit level, in order to secure an 
even face. They are then cemented together, and large slabs of 
Sioux Falls quartzite are attached to two arms of a powerful ver- 
tical shaft. These large, flat stones, which are almost as hard as 
the silicified wood and extend the full length of the arms, are re- 
volved about the bed by a stream of water, with crushed quartz- 
ite reduced to the size of a pea. The silicified wood, being 
tougher than quartzite, soon wears grooves in these large stones, 
which are frequently reversed, and sometimes discarded for new 
ones. This initial stage of the work continues for nearly forty 
hours, when the quartzite stones are replaced by large sections of 
the silicified trees, which have been previously worn upon the 
bed, and these are revolved sometimes for one week, sometimes 
for two weeks, and fed with sand of quartzite until, by abrasion 
rather than cutting, a face is disclosed on the bed, which, for the 
first time, indicates the true colorings and quality of the material. 
From these beds, each of which requires about thirty horse-power 
when doing the best work, the specimens are taken up, and re- 
bedded on a car thirty feet long and eight feet wide. The success 
of the operation depends upon the exactness of face of the differ- 
ent pieces. This car moves by cogs and concentric rings, the out- 
ermost of which is six feet in diameter, revolving at forty revolu- 


tions, and here is continued the sand quartzite feed, in order to wear 
down any irregularity of resetting upon the car. This operation 
usually lasts for two days, when the bed is cleansed, and diminu- 
tive globules of chilled shot-iron are rolled under the rings. Then 
follows treatment with emery, beginning with the coarser grade 
and ending with the finer. After a week of this work, the bed 
is thoroughly washed, the rings removed, and large wheels, made 
from blocks of bass-wood clamped together, presenting a rough 
surface by being set across the grain of the wood, are placed in 
position. The speed, both in the movement of the car and of 
the wheel, is now increased, and tin oxide is used to burnish the 
surface, which is brought to a mirror-like finish by means of trip- 
oli, fed to felt-covered wheels, that are revolved at the rate of 
300 revolutions a minute. 

The cutting and carving of rock crystal now done in the 
United States, even the cutting of crystal balls, vases, cups, and 
vials, is equal to work produced anywhere, as the vials, bonbon 
boxes, and clock exhibited at the Paris Exposition in 1889 by 
Messrs. Tiffany & Co, fully demonstrated. Much' of the 
cutting of precious stones, such as ruby, sapphire, emerald, 
and garnet, is of the highest order. Sards, bloodstones, and 
other cheap agates are often cut abroad to a uniform size for 
mounting, because it costs less to fit the stone to the mounting 
than the mounting to the stone, and such stones as are found 
here are generally cut in this country. 

Watch Jewels. — About i, 200, ooow'atches with jeweled works 
are annually manufactured in the U nited States, requiring about 1 2 ,- 
000,000 jewels, seven to twenty-one for each watch ; of these 5,000,- 
000 are ruby and sapphire, and 7,000,000 are garnet jewels, valued 
at over $300,000. Most of them are imported, but the Waltham 
Company does its own cutting, employing about 200 hands. About 
15,000 carats of diamond in the form of bort, are used annually 
in slitting and drilling these jewels. Nearly all the ruby, 
sapphire, and garnet used for jewels are imported, but it is 
hoped that American materials will soon be used. To be of 
value for this purpose, the material must not only be flawless, 
but also be of some decided shade of red or blue, and of a hard- 
ness greater than that of quartz. 

Estimated production of precious stones in the United States from 1886 to 18RR 








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Collections.- — -One of the first collections of precious stones 
formed in the United States was that begun early in the century 
by J. R. Cox of the University of Pennsylvania, whose cabinet 
in i860 passed into the possession of Prof. Joseph Leidy, of Phil- 
adelphia, who continued adding to it until 1880. At that time 
it comprised 221 lots, and was then considered the finest collection 
in the United States, the specimens all having been chosen with 
great care and scientific accuracy. The cabinet was offered for 
sale, but failed to find a purchaser and was disposed of to a dealer, 
who soon scattered the fruits of over half a century’s patient 
gathering among his customers. 

Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger, of New York, was, in 1838, an au- 
thority on precious stones, and his book 1 was one of the first to 
be written on the subject in the United States. During his long 
residence in this country, he made an interesting and valuable 
collection of minerals, fossils, and gems, many of the latter being 
fine specimens, but it has not been sold, and is in the possession 
of his daughters. Moving has greatly damaged this collection, 
which originally included nearly goo specimens; it was placed on 
sale in 1874, and for a time was deposited in the American 
Museum of Natural History, New York. 

A remarkable and most interesting collection was made by 
Dr. Isaac Lea, of Philadelphia, who died in December, 1886. 
This eminent scientist for the last thirty years of his long life 
devoted much time to the study of microscopic inclusions in 
gems and minerals. The cabinet bequeathed by him to his 
daughter contains thousands of specimens of rubies, sapphires 
chrysoberyls, tourmalines, garnets, quartz, and other stones, 
each specimen labelled, and generally accompanied by a draw- 
ing, showing the interesting inclusions. His extensive bibliogra- 
phy includes several papers on inclusions in precious stones.’ 

The finest known collection of precious stones, and the finest 
collection of those found in the United States, is the one, 

1 A Treatise on Gems, in Reference to their Practical and Scientific Value. A useful guide 
for the jeweler, lapidary, artist, amateur, mineralogist, and chemist. Accompanied by a deserip* 
tion of the most interesting American gems and ornamental and architectural materials. (New 
York, iS 38. Subsequent enlarged editions appeared in 1859 and in 1872. 

a Prod. Acad. Nat. Sei of Philadelphia, vol. 21 pp m 4 and 119, 1869, and voL aS, 
p. 98, 1S7&. 


presented by Mr. j. Pierpont Morgan to the American Museum 
of Natural History, Central Park, N. Y. This collection, which 
contains over one thousand specimens of all the obtainable pre- 
cious and ornamental stones native to the United States, and 
some of the finest known examples of foreign stones, was prepared 
with the assistance of the author by Messrs. Tiffany & Co., and was 
exhibited, under his charge, at the World’s Fair held in Paris in 
iS8g, before a larger number of people than were ever before 
gathered within a given time at any one place. (See Colored 
Plate i, Figs. E and H ; Plate 3, Figs F and K ; Plate 5, Fig, D ; 
Plate 6, Fig. C ; Plate 7, Fig. B.) It occupied a circular case in 
the center of the American Section, and, with the collection of 
pearls found in North America, gained the award of two gold 
medals. The collection, of which a catalogue was published, 1 
was a central point of attraction in the exhibit, was visited 
by leading scientists, lapidaries, stone-workers, and decorators, 
as well as the general public. 

Among benefits resulting from the New Orleans Exposi- 
tion held 1884—1885 w r as the appropriation to the United States 
Museum to perfect its exhibit there. This money was expended 
by Prof. Frank W. Clarke, the curator in mineralogy, in 
the purchase of a very complete series of precious and orna- 
mental stones, many of which are of great value from an ed- 
ucational point of view. Since the Exposition, numerous fine 
specimens have been added by purchase and donation, notably 
the 1 71 diamonds and 150 pearls presented by the Imfim 
of Muscat to President Van Buren, all of which are of good 
quality. The collection now numbers about a thousand spec- 
imens, and includes examples of almost every known variety 
of precious stones, many of them being remarkably good 

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, New York, 
are the Curium gems, brought by Gen. Luigi P. di Cesnola from 
the island of Cyprus. Some of these were described in his volume 
on Cyprus, 1 and are on exhibition with the Cesnola Collection. 

x Catalogue of a Collection of Precious and Ornamental Stones of North America, p. 3a, Svo, 
New York, iSSg. 

" Researches and Discoveries in Cyprus. (New York, 1878,) 


A full description of them was prepared by the Rev. C. W. King, 
of Trinity College, England, the greatest of all writers on 
engraved gems ; this has never been published, but Mr. 
King’s numerous writings mark an epoch in the study of this 
branch of archaeology. His collection of antique gems, number- 
ing 331 pieces, is the summary of Mr. King’s vast knowledge, 
and none has ever been more thoroughly studied. 1 It 
was sent to the United States for sale in 1881, and in October, 
through the friendly mediation of Gaston L. Feuardent, it was 
purchased and presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art 
by John Taylor Johnston, then president of the Museum. 
Near it is deposited the Sommerville Collection. Maxville 
Sommerville, during thirty-two years passed in Europe, Asia, 
and Africa, collected cameos, intaglios, seals, and other 
historical gems, and as a result of his liberal expenditure 
of time and money is to-day the owner of one of the most unique 
and valuable collections of engraved gems in the world. It num- 
bers over 1,500 objects, including specimens of Egyptian, Persian, 
Babylonian, Etruscan, Greek, Roman, Aztec, and Mexican glyp- 
tic or jewel-carving art of singular excellence, affording a pano- 
ramic view of the achievements of civilized man in this direction. 
Descriptive of his remarkable collection, Mr. Sommerville has 
just published an illustrated catalogue.’ It is hoped that the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, will become the 
permanent owner of the collection. 

Of greater antiquity, and of great archaeological value, be- 
cause representing a period before gems were cut in the form of 
intaglios, is the collection of the Rev. W. Hayes Ward, consist- 
ing of 300 Babylonian, Persian, and other cylinders. Two hun- 
dred, collected by himself in Babylon and its vicinity, during the 
Catharine Wolfe Exploration, were sold to the Museum at a 
nominal figure. Since that time, he has collected 100 more 
cylinders, many of which date from 2500 B. C. to 300 B. C., 
and are made of lapis lazuli (the sapphire of the ancients), agate, 
carnelian, hematite, and chalcedony. 

1 See Antique Gems and Rings, by C* W. King, 2 vols. (London, 1872.) 

5 Engraved Gems : Their History and an Elaborate View of Their Place in Art. 4(0, pp. 777, 
plates 104. (Philadelphia, 1S89,) Printed by the Author* 


The private collection of ClarenceS, Bement, of Philadelphia, 
Pa., numbering 1 2,000 specimens of choice and carefully selected 
minerals, is the finest in the United States, and is exceeded 
in magnitude and excellence by only one or two collections of 
foreign museums. The high standard of all the specimens is 
due to the fact that Mr. Bement purchased from more than a 
dozen collections, one the largest — not his own— in the 
country. The collection is remarkable for its magnificent series, 
all in their natural state, of emeralds and sapphires, from North 
Carolina; its Colorado and Mexican topaz; its very fine series 
of garnets from Chester County, Pa., and other American 
localities ; its sets of rutiles from Graves Mountain, Ga. 
Magnet Cove, Ark., Alexander County, N. C., and Vermont. 
It also contains a unique series of quartz specimens from every 
American locality ; brown, black, and white tourmaline from 
northern New York, and the green, red, and blue varieties from 
Maine ; and some of the finest known crystals of green microcline 
(amazonstone) from Pike’s Peak, Col., and Amelia County, Va. 
In fact, nearly all the gem minerals, both American and foreign, 
are fully represented in this cabinet in their native state, although 
Mr. Bement says he is not a gem collector.' 

Dr. Augustus C. Hamlin, of Bangor, Me., owns a collection, 
the nucleus of which was formed in 1826 by Elijah J. Hamlin. 
It includes nearly all the precious stones found at Mount Mica 
and other tourmaline localities in Maine, and contains several 
thousand crystals of every possible shade of color from white to 
pink, red, blue, green, yellow, to black, including some of the 
finest known specimens of rubellites, achroites, and other varie- 
ties of tourmalines, also some fine foreign gems. Dr. Hamlin 
has published two works on precious stones.’ 

Frederick Stearns, of Detroit, and Thomas T. Bouve, of 
Boston, Mass., have excellent collections of precious stones, 
which, while not specially valuable, are still full and representa- 
tive as regards species and varieties. Augustus Lowell, of Boston, 

i See Prof* Gerhard von Rath’s descriptive article on this collection in the Verhartdlungen 
Des Naturh- Vemns d. Preuss. Rheinl. u. Westf., 18S4, pages 295^304, of which an abstract by 
the author was published in the Jeweler’s Circular for January, 1S86* 

* Tlie Tourmaline. (Boston, 1S75.) Leisure Hours Among the Gems. (Boston, 



has some superb fancy colored diamonds, sapphires and other 
interesting precious stones. 

Judge Henry Hilton, of New York City, owns the finest 
collection of colored diamonds in the United States, ninety-seven 
in number, including many shades of brown, yellow, green, 
pink, and other colors. Mrs. T. N. C. Lowe, of Norristown, Pa., 
has an extensive collection of precious and fancy stones, and 
Mrs. M. J. Chase, of Philadelphia, Pa., some exceptionally choice 
and rare specimens in her cabinet. 

Among the fine collections containing interesting gem 
specimens, to some of which reference has been made, may be 
mentioned the magnificent cabinet of Yale University, formed in 
the early part of the century, wdiich contains the well-known 
Gibbs collection; the Tenney tourmalines; and in the same 
building, Peabody Museum, the private collection of Prof. George 
J. Brush; the Harvard University collection at Cambridge, 
Mass.; the collection of the School of Mines, Columbia College, 
New York City; that of Cornell University, at Ithaca, N. Y., 
which contains the Silliman Cabinet; of the University of Michi- 
gan, at Ann Arbor, containing the collection of the late Baron 
Lederer, one of the finest and most complete private collections 
known ; incorporated with it is the famous Blum Collection ; 1 
that of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; of the Academy 
of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and in the building with it, 
the magnificent cabinet of the late William S. Vaux. At Hamilton 
College, Clinton, Oneida County, N. Y., is the Root Collection, 
and also the collection of Prof. Albert H. Chester ; at Union Col- 
lege, Schenectady, N. Y., the collection of the late Charles M. 
Wheatley; at Amherst College, Amherst, Mass., the collection of 
Charles U. Shepard and others. The State Cabinet at Albany, 
N. Y., contains the Emmons Collection among others, as well as 
a neat case of precious and ornamental stones. The cabinet 
of Prof. Thomas Egleston of New York, is one of the finest 
crystallographical collections in the United States, and contains 
many unique and choice crystals of Russian and other gem 
minerals. The Canfield Collection, formed by the father of the 

1 Dv, Blum, of Heidelberg, was the author of works on previous stones, minerals, and 


present owners over forty years ago, and containing many of the 
finest New Jersey and southern New York specimens, in 
addition to others equally choice, is at Dover, N. J., the 
William W. jefferis collection at West Chester, Pa., the 
mineralogical collection of the University of Minnesota at 
Minneapolis, and the cabinet of the State Mining Bureau at 
San Francisco, Cal. 

The foreign museums which contain the best American 
specimens are the British Museum in London (the finest mineral- 
ogical collection in the world), the Austrian Imperial Mineral Cabi- 
net at Vienna; and the collections of the Jardin des Plantes and 
of the Ecole des Mines in Paris. During the last ten years, the 
disposition to collect jade and other hard, carved stone objects 
has greatly increased, especially in the United States, owing to 
the stimulus given by the World’s Fairs, at Philadelphia, Paris, 
and Amsterdam, and the breaking up by sale of many of the 
large collections. In December, 1889, a number of fine objects 
was furnished by American collectors to fill four large cases for a 
Loan Exhibition at the Union League Club, New York City. 
The value of carved jades, outside of China and India, cannot 
be less than $2,000,000. In the United States there are, 
perhaps, less than a dozen buyers, who have purchased $500,000 
worth of this material. Many of the pieces are among the 
finest known, such as the private seal and other objects of 
the Emperor of China, taken at the sacking of the summer pal- 
ace by the Chinese themselves, after it had been looted by the 
British and the French. The pieces brought by Tien Pau 
to Paris included some of the finest work that ever left China : 
they were intended for the Amsterdam Exposition. The choic- 
est specimens of the Wells, Guthrie, Michael, and Hamilton Pal- 
ace collections are now owned in the United States ; and expe- 
rienced agents have been frequently sent to India and China to 
secure the finest objects as they presented themselves. Even 
during the year 1889, after the famine in China, a buyer 
securing a number of objects of priceless value. 

Jade collectors may be divided into those who collect 
oriental jade, and those who collect archaeological jade. 

Among the principal collectors in this country are Heber R. 



Bishop, Brayton Ives, William C. Oastler, John Harper, Samuel 
P. Avery, Charles Stewart Smith, Edward G. Low, Thomas B. 
Clarke, James W. Ellsworth, and James A. Garland, of New 
York; Samuel M. Nickerson and Potter Palmer, of Chicago; 
William T. Walters, of Baltimore ; Frederick Ames, Dr. Bigelow, 
and Quincy Shaw, of Boston. There is a good collection at the 
Peabody Museum, Yale College, gathered and bequeathed by 
Dr. S. Wells Williams, formerly Secretary of Legation at 
Pekin, and author of the standard work on China, “The Middle 
Kingdom.” Of foreign collectors who have a notable quantity 
of jade objects, there are Alfred Morrison, of London ; Messrs. 
Bing and Gentian and Vicomte de Samalle, of Paris. The 
Louvre and the Musee de Fontainebleau contain some specimens 
of great interest, and the South Kensington Museum has quite a 
large and valuable collection. 

Explorations in Alaska have brought to light the fact that 
jade was used by the natives of Alaska for making implements ; 
almost conclusive proof, also, has been offered to show that it is 
found, not only as boulders, but in place. The United States Na- 
tional Museum at Washington ; the Emmons Collection, and that 
of James Terry in the American Museum of Natural History; 
the Everett Collection ; the Peabody Collection, at Cambridge, 
Mass. ; the collections in the Canadian Geological Survey at 
Ottawa, and the Peter Redpath Museum, McGill College, Mon- 
treal, Can.; the Dresden Collection ; the Freiberg Collection, at 
Baden ; and others, including the writer’s own, contain several 
hundred objects made from this very interesting material found 
in Alaska and British Columbia. 

For nearly ten years fresh-water pearls, jade, rock crystal, 
rhodonite, and other stones have been used in the decoration of 
high-class silverware and some examples were shown at the 
World’s Fair, held in Paris during 1889. 

Taste in household decoration in the United States has of 
late attained a high standard, and any new idea that has been 
applied elsewhere is at once made use of. Minerals as yet have 
been only slightly utilized because they have not been thoroughly 
understood, and because of the absence of any accepted method 
of so applying them as to avoid inappropriateness. Ruskin, the 


eminent art critic, approves of the application of precious stones 
to the decoration of fine furniture, for, as he says, “furniture can 
be made to last indefinitely, and hence is worthy of the highest 
artistic effects.” Instances of the use of precious stones for dec- 
orative purposes are more common in Europe and the East than 
on this side of the Atlantic. The famous peacock throne of India, 
looted by Nadir Shah, the Persian conqueror, in the eighteenth 
century, is estimated to have contained millions of dollars’ worth 
of precious stones. Even now the altars of the Catholic and 
Greek churches throughout the world are often gorgeously dec- 
orated. The new palace in Potsdam, built by Frederick the 
Great, after the Seven Years’ War, to show that the financial re- 
sources of Prussia were not exhausted, contains an apartment 
the walls of which are covered with minerals and precious stones, 
offering, perhaps, the most unique example of this style of 
decoration. The pair of rosewood pedestals with silver panels 
made for Mrs. Mary Jane Morgan, at a cost of over $2,000, were 
greatly improved in appearance by the application of a number of 
pieces of red, jaspery agate from Texas, cut en cabochon. Gold 
quartz has been used with pleasing effect in fine furniture and 
small ornaments, especially in California. Its rich colors, its 
hardness, and the beautiful polish of which it is susceptible give 
to the agatized wood of Arizona many advantages for inlaid 
work, and judging from the reception it met with at the World's 
Fair of 1889, it will probably soon be used extensively in 
furniture and interior decoration. Other cheap and ornamental 
stones, such as jasper, turquoise, rose-quartz, and amazonstone, 
might be introduced with advantage into inlaid work on docks, 
mantels, and fine furniture. The employment of rock crystal 
for hand-glasses, crystal balls, and similar articles is treated in the 
chapter on quartz. One of the new departures in the United States 
in the uses made of common stones has been the introduction of 
the so-called Scotch jewelry ; the designs were greatly improved, 
and native gem stones were used to such an extent that this jew- 
elry found a ready sale, displacing many of the cheaper varieties 
of gold and silver pins. Among the minerals that have been so 
employed are agate, moss agate, jasper of all colors, rhodonite, 
pyrite, labradorite, and moonstone. The designs used are crowns, 



knots, thistles, shepherds’ crooks, nails, horse-shoes, crescents, 
daggers, keys, spears, umbrellas, and many like shapes. In 
1880, thousands of so-called mineral clocks, each in a plain 
wooden case, usually in the form of a house, completely covered 
with specimens, about an inch square, of pyrite, galenite, amazon- 
stone, ores from celebrated mines, and other Colorado minerals, 
were made. The minerals are glued on, each bearing a number 
referring to a list of the minerals on the back of the case. The 
interior consists of common Connecticut clock-work. Fully 
$15,000 worth have been annually disposed of. This form of 
decoration has also been applied to paper-weights, inkstands, and 
a large number of objects. 

The fossils known as trilobites, which are found in various 
parts of the United States, are used, when fossilized, or curled 
up into proper forms, as charms, scarf-pins, and other ornaments. 
Most of those employed for such purposes are procured from 
the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio, and from near Covington, Ky. 
The species of trilobite used is principally Calymene senaria, which 
is generally found curled up, evidently in dying, and therefore 
appears either round or slightly oval in form, making a very 
suitable charm or an ornament for a scarf-pin. They vary 
in size from } inch to 2 inches in diameter, and are sold at from 
twenty-five cents to $5.00 each, according to beauty and per- 
fection* The casts of the Calymene senaria, variety blumen- 
bachii, if entirely flattened out and perfect in form, have been 
worn as scarf-pins. As they are pure limestone, the surface is 
generally covered with thousands of brilliant microscopic crystals 
of calcite, that glitter beautifully in the sunlight. 

An alone Shell 



Amherst College Col s n 


Analyses of serpentine. 


Abalone shell, fishing for. 


45, 49, 5 1 * 72, 202, 273, 
Analyses of almandine. . . 



1 88 

Aboriginal iapidarianwork 


Analyses of smaragdite, . . 


in North America 


Analyses of amazon stone . 


Analyses of spessartite . . . 


Academy of Natural Sci- 

Analyses of amber, ...... 


Analyses of spinels 

ences, Philadelphia col- 
lection, 47, 177, 194, 

Analyses of andalusite . . . 


Analyses of spodumenc . . 


Analyses of andradite. . . . 


Analyses of sun stone. .... 


201 ...... 


Analyses of aventurine or- 

Analyses of thomsonite . . 


Achroite. .... .66, 71, 73, 




Analyses of titanite, . . . . . 


ActinoUtc . 204, 


Analyses of azurite 


Analyses of tourmaline . . . 


Adularia feldspar. 


Analyses of beryllonite . . . 


Analyses of topaz, ....... 


Adze, jadeitc 


Analyses of beryl 


Analyses of turquoise, ,58, 




Analyses of cassiterite. , . . 


Analyses of vesuvianite. . . 


Agate, 128, 129, 130, 131, 
132, > 34 , 137 , 263, 276, 

Analyses of catlinite . , . , . 


Analyses of willcmite 


Analyses of chondrodite. . 


Analyses of zircon, ...... 


2*7 3°5 

Agate chalcedony * 107 

Agate, cutting of, . . 3 1 7 

Agate, mosaic, 301 

Agate, moss, 131, 132, 133, 265 
Agate, opal ............ 297 

Agate, wood 135 

Agatizcd bones . . , . 132 

Agatizcd trees 132 

Agatized wood, 138, 141 , 305 
Alaska rock crystal. , , , , 109 
AJbite. ........ 162, 163, 268 

Aldrovandi mask . . 65 

Alexandrite. .95, 97 

Allanite ........ 156 

Almandine, analysis of. . . 84 

Almandine garnets 78, 81, 

82 260 

Amazonstone . 165, 267 

Amazonstone, analyses of. 166 

Amber 199, 302 

Amber, analyses of 203 

American Museum of Nat J I 
History, 112, 195, 308, 328 
American pearls, deriva- 
tion of, 218, 225, 239, 

250. 256 

Amethyst, 106, 113, 127, 

258, 262, 263 2S7 

Amethyst from Lake Su- 
perior 115 

Amethyst, localities of,. 113 
Amethyst Mountain, . . . , 139 
Amethyst, Oriental, 39 

Analyses of chrysoberyl . . 98 

Analyses of chlorastrolite, 181 
Analyses of chrysolite. ... 102 

Analyses of colophonite , , 85 

Anatyses of corundum ... 49 

Analyses of cyanite ...... 176 

Analyses of danburite. ... 158 

Analyses of diopside 1 5 1 

Analyses of epidote 157 

Analyses of fluorite 183 

Analysis of gahiutc 52 

Analyses of garnet . , , .84, 85 

Analyses of grossularite , . 84 

Analysis of hercynite . , , , 52 

Analyses of iolite* 1 59 

Analyses of jade 173 

Analyses of labradorite. . . 165 
Analyses of lazulite 191 
Analyses of malachite. . , , 196 

Analyses of melantte 85 

Analysis of microlite . . . , , 189 
Analyses of nephrite. . . , , 172 
Analyses of obsidian. . . , , 170 
Analyses of oligoclase .... 1 68 
Analyses of ouvarovitc. . . 85 

Analyses of opal ........ 143 

Analyses of pectolite 179 

Analyses of phenacite — 101 
Analyses of polyadelphite. 85 
Analyses of prehnite. . ... 180 
Analyses of pyrope 84 
Analyses of quartz ...... 128 

Analyses of rhodonite 152 

Analyses of schorlomite. . . 85 

33 1 

Andalusite. . . . . 171, 176, 269 
Andradite, analysis of. . . . 85 

Anthracite 204 
Apatite. . . . .87, 190, 258, 272 

Apophyllite ..... ... 271 

Aquamarine. 87 

Aquamarine, localities, 93, 95 

Aragonite ...... 197, 300. 301 

Archaeological value of 

rock crystal , , , r j 2 

Arizona d iamond s wi nd I e . . 36 

Arkansas quartz crystals. 1 10 
Arkansite. 194 
Arrowheads, 133, 135, 

169, 305, 307 30S 

Arrow-heads of obsidian , , 1 68 

Arrow -making 306 , 307 

Art objects of rock 

crystal ri3, 285, 286 

Artificial coloring of tur- 
quoise. ...... 59 

Artificial devices for pearl 
production. ....... 2 13, 228 

Artificial gold quartz, . . . 119 
Asia Minor, emery de- 
posits of. ... .... 44 

Astcria ............ 314 

Asteriated quartz, 106 
Aventurine feldspar, . 164, 268 
Aventurine orthoelase, an- 
alyses of, 164 

Aventurine quartz. ... 106, 1 2 1 

Axinite,., 157, 267 

Azurite, analysis of [96 




Banner Stones 305 

Bartholdi testimonial » . . . 142 
Basanite ........... 107, 135 

Beekitc » . * . . . . . . 107 

Remcnt, C. 5,, collection, 

46, 50, 70, 77, 82, 89, 

90, 94, 99, 125, 148, 

165, 170, 177, 189, 194, 

195, 260 * * - * 273t 325 

Beryl . 87, 204, 259 

Beryl, analyses of ...... » 96 

Beryl, blue, . 91, 92, 95 

Beryl, largest in the 

world ........ 90 

Beryl, white . . 94 

Beryl, yellow.. 93, 94 

Eeryllonite 190 

Black garnet (not melanite) 83 

Black pearls .224, 225 

Black tourmaline, 77 

Blake collection, 285, 287, 

300 304 

Blister pearls ...» 214 

Blood -agate ............ 130 

Bloodstone 107, 135 

Blue beryls. ...... 91, 92, 95 

Bowenite ...... 173, 185, 187 

Brazilian quartz crystals 
for spectacles ......... in 

Brazilian emerald ....... 73 

Brazilian topaz ......... 66 

Breastplate, jadeite. .... 280 

British Museum collec- 
tion, 89, 176, 273, 2 79* 

285,298.... .. 327 

Rronzite ........... 153, 205 

Rrookiie .... .......... 194 

Brush, G. J., collection, 

9^! 43- S 26 

Byssolite 205 

Cacholonc. ........... 266 

Cairngorm ..... 106, 1 16, 262 

Calcomalachite ......... 197 

California diamonds (?) , . . 24 

California onyx ......... 197 

California State Mining Bu- 
reau, collection, 28, 1 16, 327 
Canada .... ...... ...... 258 

Canadian precious stones, 
bibliography of ...... . 273 

Canadian geological sur- 
vey, coll cction, 267, 273 , 3 2 8 
Cancnnite ............. 160 

Canfield, F. A. collection, 
154,165, 170, 181.... 326 

Carat, definition of, .... » 1 4 

Carat, international. ..... 14 

Carneliari, 107, 12S, 132, 264 
Cape rubies 81 

Carbuncles 78 

Cassinite ......... 162 

Cassiterite 19 1 

Catlinite 205 

Catlinite, analyses of. ... . 209 
Catlinite, localities of, 205, 206 
Cat’s- eye. ........... 95, 107 


Cat*s-eye minerals — . . , . 204 
Cave pearls ............ 197 

Central America. 275 

Ceylonese moonstone 167 

Chalcedony, 107,128, 129, 

130, 131, 132, 133, 

264, 276 287 

Chalcedony agate ....... 107 

Chalcedony Park. ....... 137 

Chalehihuitl. . 60, 62, 282, 2S4 
Chase, Mrs. M. J,, collec- 
tion 94, 326 

Chester, Mass., emery de- 
posits ............... 42 

Chiastolite . , 175, 269 

Chlorastrolite. ...... 1S0, 181 

Chlormelanite 277 

Chondrodite [70 

Christy collection, 61, 63, 

279 286 

Chrome garnet, 78, 86, 

258 261 

Chrysoberyl ........ .97, 204 

Chrysoberyl, analyses of. . 98 

Chrysocolla 132, 197 

Chrysolite. .... .97, iQi, 269 
Chrysolite, analyses of.. . . 102 
Chrysoprase. . . 107, 122, 265 
Cinnamon stone ........ 79 

Citrine. ..66, 117, 259 

Clam pearls 233 

Cobaltite 199 

Collection, Academy of Nat- 
ural Sciences, Philadel- 
phia, 47, 177, 194, 201, 260 
Collection, American Mu- 
seum of Natural His- 
tory. . . . 1 12, 195, 308, 328 
Collection, Amherst Col- 
lege, 45, 49, 5 b 72,202 

273 * ■ 3 26 

Collection, Remen t, C. S., 

46, 50, 70, 77, 82, 89, 

90, 94, 99, 125, 14S, 

165, 170, 177, 189, 194, 

195. 260, 273 325 

Collection, Blake, W. W., 

28 s. 287, 300 304. 

Collection, Boston Society 
of Natural History. .... 90 

Collection, BouVe, T. T. . 325 
Collection, British Mu- 
seum, 89, 176, 273, 

279, 285, 298.. ..... 327 

Collection, Brush, G. J., 

98, 143.. ...... ...... 326 

Collection, California State 
Mining Bureau, 28, 1 1 6, 327 
Collection, Canfield, F. A., 

154, 165, 170, 181, 326 

Collection, Cardoza, Dr. 47 
Collection, Chase, Mrs. 

M. J 94- 3 2 ^ 

Collection, Christy, 61, 

63, 279 '...... 286 

Collection, Columbia Cob, 
School of Mines. .273, 326 


Collection, Cornell Uni- 
versity 125, 326 

Collection, Cox, J. R. . . . 322 
Collection Dartmouth Col- 

ege,. 124 

Collection, Douglas, A. E.. 285 
Collection, Egleston, T . . 326 
Collection, Ferrler, W. G.. 273 
Collection, Feuchtwanger, 

Lewis 322 

Collection, Free, Alfred . . 50 

Collection, Genth, F. A.. 47 

Collection, Geological Sur- 
vey of Canada, 267, 273, 328 
Collection, Goupil, M» » . . 298 
Collection, Hamilton CoL 

tege * 77, 326 

Collection, Hamlin, A. C., 

73, 94, 14S, 288. .... . 325 

Collection, Harvard Col- 
lege 103 

Collection, Hilton, Henry. 326 
Collection, Hope, H* P., 

73 296 

Collection, Hubbard, Oli- 
ver P. 124 

Collection, Imperial Min- 
eralogical Cabinet, Vi- 
cuna ............ .72, 327 

Collection, Imperial Min- 
ing School, St. Peters- 
burg 66 

Collections of jade. ..... 327 

Collections, jade, foreign. 328 
Collection, JefFeris, W. W., 

47> *3S> 195 --327 

Collection, Johns Hopkins 

University 170, 326 

Collection, King, C. W . . 324 
Collection, King’s Col- 
lege, Nova Scotia ..... 273 
Collection, Lea, Isaac, 47, 

53 322 

Collection, Leidy, Joseph, 

37* 47 322 

Collection, Lowell, A. . . . 325 
Collection, Lynde, M. T., 

93> 181 3°2 

Collection, McGill College, 
Montreal. .. .267, 273, 328 
Col lection , Lo we, T. N. C. . 326 
Collection, Marsh, O. C., 

273. 308 

Collection, Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 286, 

323 ■ ♦ ■ * y 324 

Collection, Mexican Min- 
ing Museum 276 

Collection, Mexican Na- 
tional Museum. ...... 298 

Collection, Morrison, Al- 
fred I S J 

Collection, New York 
State Museum, 72, 89, 

91, 109, 113, 1 14, 116, 

i6S> *95. 2 73 3 z6 

Collection, Palmer, LAW, 47 



Collectio^i Peabody Mu- 
seum, New Haven, 
Cornu, 17, 73, 77, go, 

170 194 

Collection, Peabody Mu- 
seum, archaeology, Cam- 
bridge, Mass -326, 32S 

Collection, Provincial Mu- 
seum of Nova Scotia, 273 
Collection, Roebling, W, 

A, 148 

Collection, SiOiman, Ben- 
jamin, {See Cornell), . 
Collection, Somerville, 

Maxwell . . . . 2 86, 324 

Collection, Smith College. 1 ro 
Collection, Steams, F . . . . 325 
Collection, Stephenson, 

J. A* D . 89 

Collection, Tiffany & Coris 
at Paris, 1S89 „ * . * . . „ . 323 
Collection, Torrey, John, 

159 196 

Collection, Trocadero Mu- 
seum, 285, 286, 298, 

299, 300....*,.,..., 305 
Collection, U- S. National 
Museum, 33, 47, 58, 69, 

74» 3b, 90, 92, 104, 

11S, i6 9> 3 7 2 i 3 77> 

185, 215, 230, 278, 284, 

285, 2S7, 29S, 300, 

304, 305, 308, 323, 32S 

Collection, Union College* 326 
Collection, University of 

Minnesota ... * . 327 

Collection, University of 

Michigan ....... 326 

Collection, University of 

Pennsylvania 156 

Collection, Vaux, W. S., 

47, 50, 90, 124, 177, 

194,20c., 326 

Collection, Walker, A. E.. 173 
Collection, Walker, Bo- 
gart. * 109 

Collection, Ward, W. II.. 324 
Collection, Wilcox, J. W., 

47, S3, 125 273 

Collection, Wharton, J. . , 125 
Collection, Y ale College, 

92, 1 7 1, 185, 326,. .. 328 
Collection, Young, S. C . . 50 

Collections, foreign ...... 327 

Colophon! te, analysis of.. . 85 

Color of tourmaline 71 

Colorado sapphires 49 

Colored pearls. ......... 230 

Columbia College School 
of Mines collection, 273, 326 

Conch pearls 235 

Conch shells for wam- 
pum 234 

Coral, fossil ............ 198 

Coral, silidfied 122 

Cornell University Collec- 
tion, 125 , 326 


Corundum. .39, 204, 258, 276 
Corundum, analysis. .... 49 

Corundum from North 
Carolina, ............ 40 

Corundum, genesis of... 41 

Corundum in Georgia, ... 44 

Coyote of obsidian ....,, 304 

Crescents of rock crystal.. 286 
Crocidolite. 153 

Crown jewels of France . , 31 1 
Crystals of quarts from 
Brazil for spectacles ... HI 
Curious shaped pearls ... 216 
Cutting and polishing 
turquoise ............ 62 

Cyanite 276 

Damquritk. 70 

Danburite 15S 

Datolite, - .............. 177 

De Soto, extracting pearls 

from shells for. 244 

Definitions. ............ 310 

Dela’warite. 162 

Demantoid. 78 
Deman toids, Siberian. ... 14S 
Derivation of American 

pearls 256 

Dewey diamond. 16 

Diamond. 13, 275, 31 1 

Diamond, American. .... 311 
Diamond, cutting of, ... . 313 
Diamond -cutting in the 
United States, 316 
Diamond dust, imports of, 313 
Diamond from Dy sortvill e . 20 

Diamond field of South 
Kentucky. . . . . , 15, 31, 32 

Diamond, properties of. . 13 

Diamond swindle, Ari- 
zona .......... 36 

Diamond, finding of. .... 37 

Diamond from California. 24 
Diamond from Georgia*. . 2 1 

Diamond from Idaho 30 

Diamond, Lake George 
log ................. no 

Diamond from Montana. . 30 

Diamond from North 

Carolina 17 

Diamond from Oregon. . . 29 

Diamond from South 

Carolina 21 

Diamond from Virginia... 16 
Diamond from Wiscon- 
sin 35 

Diamond, the genesis of. . 31 

Diamond necklaces ...... 3 1 1 

Diamond, occurrence of 

in the United States 14 

Diamond {so-called {Quebec 261 
Diamond, South Afri- 
can, 13, 33 

Diaspore . . 51 

Dichroite . . 277 

Diopside 151, 270 

Dioptasc, 179 



Discoid al stones. 306 

Discovery of the Queen 

pearl 229 

Divers for pearl oysters . . 2zo 
Domici Hares in pearl oys- 
ters, 214, 215 

Drilling hard stones and 
shells. ............... 304 

Dysortville diamond ..... 20 

Ear-shell 236 

Egyptian jasper.. 108 

Ekeolite ,,.160, 162 

Emerald 87 

Emerald, Brazilian ...... 73 

Emerald, Gibson vi He .... 126 

Emerald, Uthia ......... 147 

Emerald, Oriental. . , .39, 46 

Emerald, Uralian . . . .78, 148 
Emery deposits of Asia 

Minor 44 

Emery deposits of Ches- 
ter, Mass . . 42 

Enstatite 1 53 

Epidote. 156, 267 

Epidote, analyses of 157 

Essontte 78, 79, 261, 277 

Essonite, localities of . . . 79 

Euclase „ . roo 

Experiments in Saxon 
pearl fisheries. 228 
Extracting pearls from 
shells for De Soto . , . . , 244 

False Topaz 107 

Feldspar group. .... .162, 268 

Feldspar, adularia. ..... 163 

Fire- opals. . . . .290, 293, 296 
First water, definition of. 312 
Fishing for Abalone shells.. 237 
Fleche d J Amour ........ 125 

Fluorite. ..183, 259, 272 

Fluorite, analyses of . . . . 183 
Formation of pearls.,.. 21 1 

Fossil coral. ....... 19S 

Fowl erite. 152 

Franklinite. 154 

French crown jewels 263, 311 
Fresh- water pearls ...... 225 

Gadolinite 156 

Gahnite, analysis of .... . 52 

Gahnite, green spinel .... 51 

Garnet. ................ 260 

Garnet, analyses of . . . 83, 84 

Garnet, black. ...... S3 

Garnet group. . . 78 

Garnet, pyrope. ........ 276 

Garnet, titaniferous. ..... 86 

Gem, definition of. ..... . 310 

Gems in the collection of 
the U. S. National Mu- 
seum, (See Collection.) 
Genesis of corundum. .... 41 

Genesis of diamonds 31 

Geological Survey of Can- 
ada, collection, 267, 273, 328 




Georgia, corundum 44 

Georgia diamonds. ...... 21 

Geyserites. ,**»*,,*»..*« 146 
Gibson ville emerald . . . . . 126 

Girasol * 287 
Gold quarts ..,.117, 119, 126 
Gold quartz, artificial . . . . 1 19 

Gold quartz, rose 1 iS 

Goshenitc, 95 

Gothite,, ....... 107, 126, 163 

Grinding and polishing . . 304 
Grossularite. ........ .79, 261 

Grossularite, analysis of . . 84 

Haliotis ............. 236 

Hamilton College collec- 
tion .............. 77, 326 

Hamlin, A. C., collect 
tion, 73* 94> H®* 2 ®®> 3 2 S 
Hampden Emery Co ... . 45 

Harlequin opal 287 

Heliotrope, .... 108, 135, 265 

Hematite. .......... 192, 269 

Hetcymte, analysis of. . . . 52 

Hiddenite spodumenes, 

88, 89 .............. . 147 

History of American 

pearls 240 

Hope, H. collection, 73, 296 
Hornblende in quartz. . . . 125 
Hornstone. ............. 266 

Household decoration, use 
of minerals in. , 328 
Humboldt celt, ......... 279 

Hyacinth. . . .78, 79, 103, 259 

Hyaline quartz 107 

Hyalite, ........... 145, 288 

Hydrolites. . . . . . . . 131 

Hydrophane 144 

Icthyophthalmite . 271 

Idaho diamonds {?),..... 30 

Idocrase. 155, 261, 269 

Ilmenite. ........... 271 

Ilvalte. 270 
Imperial Mineral ogfcal 
Cabinet, Vienna, . , . 72, 327 
Imports of diamonds .... 313 
Imports of precious stones, 

tables of 314, 315 

Inclusions, quartz. ...... 124 

Indian pipes ............ 208 

Indicolite, 73, 75, 126 

International carat ..... , 14 

lolite. ............. 159, 277 

Isopyre 178 

Jacinth 103 

Jade, 172, 173, 26 6, 277, 

3° 6 327 

Jade collections, ........ 327 

Jade objects from Alaska, 
analyses of .......... . 173 

Jadeite, 153, 172, 173, 

276, 277. 286 

Jadeite adze * ^ . 27S 
Jadeite breastplate ...... 280 

Jadeite mask ........... 281 


Jadeite, origin of ....... . 283 

jadeite ornaments 279 

jargon .......... ...... 103 

Jasper, 108, 123, 133, 134, 

135, 137, Z65, 276, 287, 305 
Jasper, agate ........... 107 

Jasper, Egyptian ........ 108 

Jasper, porcelain ........ 105 

Jasper, Sioux Falls 123 

JclTcris, W, W., collec- 
tion 47, 135, 195, 327 

Jet 203, 273 

Jewel, definition of . 31 1 

Johns Hopkins collection 
170. 326 

Kentucky, diamond field 

of South ... 15, 31, 32 

Kieselsinter. 146 

King’s College (N. S.) 
Collection ............ 273 

Kjoekkcimioed dings. .... 248 

Knives of obsidian. ...... 298 

Kotchubeitc 86 

Kunz collection in Albany 1 16 

L ah r a dor 1 te, I jibr ad or 
spar. . . , 163, 164, 165, 267 
Labrador! te, analyses of. , 165 
Lake George dia- 
monds, so called . . 109, no 
Lake Superior amethyst . 115 
Lapldarian work, litera- 
ture of aboriginal 309 

Lapidariaii work in North 
America, aboriginal. , , 303 
Lapis lazuli ............ 1 60 

Largest beryls in the 
world. 90 

Lazulite. 191, 270 

I^ea collection ... .47, 53, 322 
Lechosos opals,. , ... .287, 291 
Leidy, Joseph, collec- 
tion t ... , 37, 47, 322 

Lennilite. 162 

Leopardite 167 

Lepidolitc. , . 159 

Leyden plate 279 

Lintonite. ...... 180, 181, 271 

Literature of aboriginal 
lapidarian work ....... 309 

Li thia emerald spodumene 147 
Localities of agate, . . 128, 264 
Localities of almandine 

garnet .81, 82, 260 

Localities of amethyst 1 13, 262 
Localities of aquama- 
rine* 93, 95 

Localities of beryl ....... 87 

Localities of emtfinite, 205, 206 
Localities of euclasc . . . . r too 

Localities of essonite, , 79, 261 
Localities of gold quartz . u8 

Idealities of opal 142, 288 

Localities of peridot 101 

Localities of pyrope gar- 
net 80 


Localities of phenacite . , . 98 

Localities of smoky quartz 1 16 
Localities of tourmaline, 7 c 260 
Localities of topaz ....... 67 

Localities of turquoise. ... 54 

Localities of zircon. . . 103, 259 
Lodestone. ............. 192 

Los Cerrillos Mines. ..... 56 

Lower California, pearl 
fisheries in. ......... . 21S 

Lydian touch stone, , r 107, 135 
Lynde, M. T* t collection 
93, 1S1... * 3 02 

McGill College collec- 
tion, 267, 273, 328 

Made 175, 269 

Magic stone. ........... 144 

Mahogany, mountain. 1 68, 1 69 
Making of arrows , , .306, 307 
Malachite ...... .... 195, 273 

Malachite, analyses of . . . 1 96 
Marble, Tccali .......... 283 

Marcasitc 1 99 

Marekanite 16S, 299 

Marriott Mound, Umo 
pearls in. ........... . 227 

Marsh, O. C., collec- 
tion ........ .273, 308 

Mask, jadeite. .......... 281 

Mask, turquoise, ........ 65 

Mazarin diamonds 3 1 1 

Meerschaum ........... 189 

Melanite, analysis of. .... 85 

Mclanite or black garnet, 83 261 

Menaccanite. 194 

Method of extracting 
pearls in Saxony. .... 232 
Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, collection, 286, 323, 324 

Mexican onyx 300 

Mexican regard for tur- 
quoise 62 

Mexico 275 

Mi crocline 2 67 

MicroUte. .......... 167, 1 89 

Microlite, analyses of. . . . 189 
Milk quartz . . , .107, 125, 262 
Millerite. ............. . 261 

Minerals that yield the 
cat 7 s-eye effect. ....... 204 

Mirror of obsidian. 299 
Mirror of pyrite. ........ 300 

Moldavite. 168 

Monazite ........ 271 

Mon tana d iam ond (?)..... 31 

Montana sapphire ....... 48 

Moonstone. .... 162, 163, 268 

Moonstone, Ceylonese ... 167 
Morion ............ 107, 262 

Mosaics of turquoise ..... 63 

Mosaic agate, .......... 301 

Moss agate, 13 1, 132, 133, 265 

Moss opal 144 

Mountain mahogany, 168, 169 

Mount C h alch ihuitl 55 

Muller’s glass ... . . . . 145, 288 



pac a 

Mussels, pearl-bearing, . r 217 

National Museum, U. 
collection, 33, 47, 58, 

69, 74, 86, 90, 92, 104, 

1 1 5, 150, 169, 172, 177, 

1 85, 215, 230, 27S, 2S4, 

285, 287, 208, 300, 304, 

305. 308, 323 328 

Natrolite, .......... 182, 271 

Nephrite, .172, 173,266, 277 
Nevada sapphire . 50 

New Jersey pearl find « * . . 227 
New York State Museum 
collection, 72, 89, 109, 

1 13, 1 14, n6, 165, 273, 326 

Nigrine * ......... 193 

North American aborigi- 
nal lapidarian work., . . 303 
North Carolina corundum 40 
North Carolina dia- 
monds 17 

North Carolina rock crys- 
tal 108 

North Carolina rubies . . . . 46 

North Carolina zircon., . . 104 
Novaculite, ...... 122 

Obsidian.. 168, 268, 297, 307 
Obsidian, analysis of, . , , , 170 
Obsidian arrow -heads, ... 169 

Obsidian coyote 304 

Obsidian knives * 298 

Obsidian mirrors. . . 299 

Occurrence of diamonds in 

the United States * . 14 

Octahedrite . . . . . . 193 

Gligodase. -163, 1 67 

Oligoclasc, analysis of. . . . 168 
Olivine (Chrysolite). . 10 i t 269 

Onyx ....... 108, 130 

Onyx, Californian, ...... 197 

Onyx, Mexican . . . 300 

Onyx, sard, 108, 130, 132, 264 

Opal 142, 266, 287 

Opal agate . . . , . . 297 

Opal, analysis of 143 

Opal, fire ...... 290, 2g3, 296 

Opal, lechosos 287, 291 

Opal, localities of. ... 142, 28S 

Opal, moss. .... . * 144 

Opal, semi ..... .144, 266 

Opal, wood 135 

Opalized wood. J 45 

Oregon diamonds. ...... 29 

Oriental emerald .... .39, 46 

Oriental topaz ....... 39, 66 

Origin of jadcite 2 S3 

Origin of turquoise rock. . 37 

Ornamental uses of min- 
erals 330 

Ornamental uses of tri- 

lobites. 330 

Orthoclase 162, 164, 268 

Orthoclase moonstone. . . 163 
Ouvarovite. . .78, 86, 258, 261 
Ouvarovite, analysis of . . . 85 


PARISITE . .*» 87 

Parasites in pearl oysters. 215 
Peabody Museum collec- 
tion, 17, 73, 77, 90, 

170, 194, 326 328 

Fealite .... 146, 299 

Pearl -bearing mussels, ... 217 
Pearl-find, New Jersey . . . 227 
Pearl- fisheries, experi- 
ments in Saxony..,.. 22S 
Pearl-fisheries in Lower 

California 218 

Pearl-oysters, divers for.. 220 
Pearl-oysters, domiciliares 

in 214, 215 

Pearl-oysters, parasites in 215 
Pearl- production, artificial 
devices for. ..... ,213, 228 

Pearl, Queen, the discov- 
ery of. .............. . 229 

Pearls. 21 1, 312 

Pearls, black.. 224, 225 

Pearls, blister 214 

Pearls, cave. 197 

Pearls, clam ........... 233 

Pearls, colored 230 

Pearls, conch 235 

Pearls, curious shaped. . . 216 

Pearls, derivation of Amer- 
ican 256 

Pearls, extracting from 
shells for De Soto.. .... 244 

Pearls, formation of*. ,, ,. 21 1 
Pearls, fresh -water ...... 225 

Pearls from Lower Cali- 
fornia, value of . . . 223, 224 
Pearls, history of Ameri- 
can. ........ 240 

Pearls in Marriott Mound, 

Unio 227 

Pearls, method of extract- 
ing in Saxony 232 

Pearls, perforated 251 

Pearls, shells containing , . 213 
Pearls, size of fresh -water. 253 
Pearls, Unio . . ...... 216, 225 

Pearls, value of conch . . 236 
Pearls, value of fresh -wa ter 20 1 

Pectolite 172, 178, 267 

Pectolitc, analyses of 179 

Pegmatite 165, 268 

Perforated pearls ....... 251 

Peridot .101, 269 

Peridot in meteorites 102 

Peristerite. 166, 268 

Ferthite. ............ 166, 268 

Phenacite 98 

Phenacite, analysis of. . . . rot 
Phenomenal gems, defini- 
tion of, ...... 31 1 

Pipes, Indian 208 

Pipestone .............. 205 

Pitchstone 170 

Plasma 108 

Polishing and grinding. . . 304 
Polyadelphite, analysis of. 85 
Porcelain jasper ........ 108 

Porphyry. 268 

Prairie dog with eyes of 
turquoise . . 6 E 

Prase 1 07, 120, 263 

Precious stone, definition 

of.,,., 310 

Precious stones, imports 

of 3 ‘ 4 . 315 

Precious stones in the 
United States, produc- 
tion of, tables, . . . .320, 32 1 
Prehnite ........... 180, 270 

Prochlorite in quartz 287 

Production of precious 
stones in the United 
States, table of. . , ,320, 321 
Properties of beryl ...... 87 

Properties of quartz.. .... 106 

Properties of topaz ...... 66 

Properties of diamond , . * 13 

Properties of tourmaline. . 70 

Pseudo-nephrite ........ 174 

Pseudomorph of turquoise 61 

Pyrite. 198, 269, 299 

Fyrite mirrors 300 

Pyrope garnet, 78, So, Si, 276 
Pyrope garnet, analysis of 84 
Pyrope garnets, localities 

of So, 8t 

Pyroxene. ... ... 185, 261, 269 

Quartz 106 

Quartz, analysis of. .... . 128 

Quartz, artificial gold , ... 119 
Quartz, asteriated 106 

Quartz, a venturine 12 1 

Quartz, cut objects of . . , . 113 
Quartz crystals from Ar- 
kansas. , no 

Quartz crystals, localities 

of f 12, 262 

Quartz, ferruginous ...... 305 

Quartz, gold ,117, 126 

Quartz, inclusions. ...... 124 

Quartz, localities of gold . 1 18 
Quartz, milky.. 107, 125, 262 
Quartz, properties of. ... , 106 

Quartz, rose. . . .107, 120, 262 
Quartz, rose gold ....... 1 1 8 

Quartz, rutilated , , 125 

Quartz, sapphirine ...... 107 

Quartz, smoky.. 107, II 6, 2 62 
Quartzite .............. 1 23 

Quebec diamonds ... 262 

Queen pearl, discovery of. 229 
Quincite 2S8 

Rhodonite 1 51 

Rhodonite, analysis of. . . 152 
Rock crystal 107,261,262, 2 84 
Rock crystal, archaeologi- 
cal value of 1 1 2 

Rock crystal crescents. , * 2 86 
Rock crystal from Alaska. 109 
Rock crystal from North 

Carolina.... 1 08 

Rock crystal skull 285 

33 6 


Rock crystal, cutting and 

carving **--..... 319 

Rose gold quartz . . 11 $ 

Rose quartz. ... 107, 1 20, 262 

RubelUte 72, 73, 74, 75 

Rubies, cape .*...*,. Si 

Rubies in North Carolina* 46 
Rubies, value of cape .... Si 
Ruby ..**...*- *39, 276, 31 1 

Ruin aragonite . , * 301 

Rutile* * ...... 192, 

Rutilated quartz * 125 

Sacrificial Knives . . , . 305 
Sagenite. ...... 107, 124, 263 

Sapphire* .39, 161, 276, 280 
Sapphire, Colorado. ..... 49 

Sapphire, largest crystal. . 45 

Sapphire, Montana ...... 48 

Sapphire, Nevada. ...... 50 

Sapphire, North Carolina. 45 
Sapphirine quartz ,**.... 107 

Sard* ..**..**..**.. 108, 12S 
Sardonyx. , 108, 130, 132, 264 

Satin spar, . 197 

Saxon pearl fisheries, ex- 
periments in* 228 

Saxon topaz * . . .66, 107 

Scapolite. ...**♦.♦** 160, 270 
Schorlomite . ..*>.,,*,.* S6 
Scho Ho mite, analysis of . . 85 

Scotch topaz * * 107 

Selenite* 197 

Semi-opal. . . . * * * ... * 144 

Sepiolite .....*,**.***>. 189 
Serpentine. ....,...***** 1S5 
Serpentine, analysis of, 

187...*** 1S8 

Shell beads* * 256 

Shell heaps containing 
pearls **.***,,,*..*.. 248 
Shells containing pearls.. 213 
Shepard collection at Am- 
herst College* (See Col- 
lection . } 

Siberian demantoids* .... 148 

Siderite* I07 

Silicified corals I2z 

Silicified trees .**.,,*.*. 140 

Silicified wood 135, 265 

Silicified wood, how 

formed ....... 135 

Si dim an collection at Cor- 
nell University . . . . 125, 326 

Sioux Falls jasper 123 

Size of fresh -water pearls. 253 
Skull inlaid with turquoise 62 
Skull of rock crystal. .... 285 
Smaragdite .44, 150 

Smoky quartz* . . 107, 1 1 6, 262 
Smoky topaz .*...****.* 1 1 6 
Sodalite *160, 270 
South African diamonds, 

^ *3 * 33 

South Carolina diamonds, 21 
Spanish topaz ,..**..*** 107 
Spear points 305 



Spessartite *....*.**.._. 79 

Spcssardtc, analysis of. . . 83 

Sphaerulite ............. 299 

Sphene 194 

Spinel 50, 259 

Spinel, analyses of, . * * * . . 52 

Spinel, green gahnite.* . . . 5 1 

Spinel, properties of .... . 5° 

Spinel, localities of. ... . . . 50 

Spodumene 147 

Spodumene, analyses of . . 149 
Spodumene, yellow ...... 150 

StauroHte .......... 177, 269 

Stibnite in quartz .*,*,*. 126 
Stream tin .*.*..*.,... . 191 
Sunstone, ****** 163, 164, 268 
Sunstone, analysis. .**».. 164 

Tecali Marble . 283 

Theory of formation of 

beryl *.*..*, 88 

Theory of formation of 

silicified wood 136 

Thetis hair stone* 126 

Thomsonite * 181, 271 

Thomsonite, analyses of, . 182 

Titanic iron, 194 

Titanifcrous garnet . ..... 86 

Titanite 194, 258, 270 

Titanite, analyses of . , , * 194 
Topaz .............. 66, 259 

Topaz, analyses of 68 

Topaz, Brazilian 66 

Topaz, cut 69 

Topaz, false ...*...*...* 107 
Topaz, localities of ... * * * 67 

Topaz, Oriental* ... * .39, 66 

Topaz, properties of* , * * * 66 

Topaz, Saxon. .*..,. *66, 107 

Topaz, Scotch * 107 

Topaz, smoky II 6 

Topaz, Spanish 107 

T orrey , J . , collect! on,. 159, 196 
Touch-stone ...***.. 107, 135 

Tourmaline * * , 70, 260 

Tourmaline, analyses of... 76 

Tourmaline, black ...... 77 

Tourmaline, color of. . , . . 7 1 

Tourmaline, localities of. . 71 

Tourmaline, properties of* 70 
Trees, agatized ....*.*** 132 

Trees, silidlied. .*..*.,,* 140 
Trilobites .............. 330 

Trocadero Museum collec- 
tion, 285, 286, 298, 299, 

30°- — 3° 5 

Turquoise, 54 

Turquoise, analyses of. 58, 64 

Turquoise, artificial color- 
ing of 59 

Turquoise, cutting and 

polishing 62 

Turquoise district *..*,.* 60 

Turquoise from Mineral 
Fark, Ariz ..,,.,*...* 60 

Turquoise, localities of* . . 54 

T urquoise mask s 65 


Turquoise, Mexicans’ re- 
gard for 62 

Turquoise mines at Los 

Cemllos** 56 

Turquoise mosaics * . 63 

Turquoise Mountain, .... 55 

Turquoise rock, origin of. 57 
Turquoise, pseudomorph 
after apatite. ......... 61 

Turquoise skulls* ....... 61 

Turquoise, value of* 63 

U. S. Nation al Museum 
Collection, 33, 47 > 5 s * 

69, 74, 86, 90, 92, 104, 

115, 150,169, 172, 177, 

1 85, 215, 230, 278, 284, 

285, 287, 298, 300, 304, 

305*308, 3 2 3 ■ - 32& 

Unio pearls. ....... . 216, 225 

Unio pearls in Marriott 
Mound 227 

U rail an emeralds, ....... 148 

Value of Conch Pearls. 236 
Value of fresh - water pearls 231 
Value of cape rubies. ... 8i 
Value of pearls from Low- 
er California.* ... *223, 224 
Value of topaz 69 

Value of turquoise, 63 

Vaux, W. S., Col f n, 47, 50, 

90, 124, >77, 194, 201, 326 
Venus hair stone, *.*...* 124 

Vesuvianite *.. 155 

Virginia diamonds 16 

Wampum 233, 248 

Wampum, conch shells 

for,.'...,..,. 234 

Watch jewels. ..... *261, 319 

Wemerite, ,..**.,.*.**. 270 

White garnet 258, 261 

Wilcox, J. W*, collection, 

47, 53i m *73 

Willcmite.. 154 

WiUiamsite. 187 

Wilsonite 272 

Wisconsin diamonds (?) . , 35 

Wollaston ite *1$^ 260 

Wood agate ..... * 135 

Wood opal ,,,,*,* 135 

Wood tin 1 9 1 

Xanthite * 155 

Yale College Collec- 
tion, 92, 171, 185, 326, 328 
Yellow spodumene. ..... 150 

Zincite * .. 154 

Zircon ..... 103, 258, 259 

Zi rcon , analyses of. * 1 05 

Zircon, localities of. .... * 103 
Zircon, North Carolina, * * 104 

Zoisite, 157 

Zonocldorite *..180, 271 


Page 20, line 13* far l wined read twinned. 

Page 29, line $,far 1 1-5 carats read i}4 carats. 

Page 35, line 14 ,far Onaka read Unaka* 

Page 44, line 2 3* far Shorting read Shooting. 

Page 5X, line 28, inset / and after pyrite. 

Page 68, in heading of fifth analysis, for Turnbull read 

Page 69, line 26, far Mountains read Mountain, 

Page 74, line 27 ,far covered read uncovered. 

Page 74, line 29, far dips read strikes. 

Page 75, line $,far or read of* 

Page 75, line 6, ft ?r rubellites read rutellite. 

Page 79. line 4, far the read this. 

Page 83, lines 12 and 19, far me Ionite read mclanite* 
Page ioi, last line, far is read are* 

Page 104, line 4 ,far microline read mi crocline* 

Page ro8, line 20 ,far Ash read Ashe. 

Page ii4 F line 21, far Jefferies read Jefferis* 

Page 116, line 13, far Anteros read Antero. 

Page no, line 16, far plegmatic read pegmatitic. 

Page 13 1, tines 24 and 3 far Uraguay read Uruguay* 
Page 1 34, line 24 after Richmond insert Indiana. 

Page 137, line 24 omit Cretaceous. 

Page 141, line 5 from bottom, far representations read 

Page 142, line 5 from bottom, remove comma after only* 
Page 145, line 30, after bluish green insert coatings. 
Page 150, analyses note 2 f or Zoi site read Zoisite. 

Page 155, head of analyses, far Sandford read Sanford. 
Page 157, line 2, far pleochrism read pleochroism. 

Page i66 f line 3 from bottom, far Bythurst read Bathurst. 

Page 168, 
Page 1 68, 
Page 169, 
Page 173, 
Page 176, 
Page 179, 
Page 1 82, 
Page 187, 
Page 193, 
Page 398, 
Page 201, 
Page 203, 
Page 206, 
Page 230, 
Page 348, 
Page 250, 
Page 250, 
Page 253, 
Page 254, 
Page 254, 
Page 259, 
Page 266, 
Page 276, 
Page 279, 
Page 280, 
Page 2S4, 

Page 288, 
Page 388, 
Page 298, 
Page 306, 

line 30 tfar Sante read Santa* 
ine 22, for sperolite read spherolitic* 
ne t6 ,far Squire read Squicr. 
ne 5, far A like B read B like A, 
ne 3, far 10 to 6 read 30 by 6, 
ne 9, far breed late d read breed at ed. 
ties i and 1 i,far Marias read Marais* 
ne 20, far Hartford read Harford, 
ne it, far popular read poplar, 
ne 20, far ashes read oxide, 
ne 6, far Cress wicks read Cross wicks, 
ne xi, after species insert of insects, 
foot-note 4, far Missouri read Mission, 
line 26, far Glentaugg read Olentangy. 
line 26, far Jefferies read Jeffries, 
line iq, far Caciques read Cacique, 
foot-note 1, far Charleston n read Charleston, 
line 9 ,far Jefferies read Jeffries* 
line 17 ,far cos talus read costatus* 
line S from bottom ,/br Techa read Teche* 
line 15, far was read were, 
line 23, far and read as. 
line 8, far goedes read geodes, 
line 9 from bottom, far 1-3 inch read 3-5 inch, 
1-ne 6, defare an insert as. 
line 7 from bottom, far m ata morph ic read 
metam orphk* 

line 5, far quinzite read qu incite* 

line n from bottom, far rocks read rock* 

line 8 ,far walls read wells. 

line 1, far disco r dal read discoidal.